Oreo Book Club: Why Nations Fail: the Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Acemoglu and Robinson

This month’s Oreo Book Club meeting was held at the home of Norton Schwartz on January 15, where the group discussed the book Why Nations Fail: the Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Acemoglu and Robinson. The thesis of the book was that a culture must have the rule of law and an active philosophy of inclusion with regard to economic assets and broad educational opportunity in order to sustain itself and succeed. While many agreed that these were building blocks to success in recent western countries, it was not agreed that these elements were all needed for a civilization to sustain itself. The authors dismissed the role of location, weather, physical and economic reasons for differentiating success; many in the group disputed this contention. The next meeting will be at the home of Mary Crowl on February 19 to discuss the book Nature Wars: The Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Have Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds. Even if you are not a member of the group, but have read the book, you are welcome to join us.

— Norton Schwartz

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