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WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion 
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Post WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion

The time has come for us to pick our next NON-FICTION book to read and discuss as a community.

Please post in this thread your book suggestions. Include the title, author name, a link to where we can research your book suggestion, and then a few words about why you're making the suggestion.

Try to only make one or maybe two suggestions. We are looking for quality over quantity.

If you are brand new to BookTalk.org please think before you make a book suggestion in this thread.

We're only looking for suggestions from people that actually plan to participate in the next book discussion.

If you're only interested in telling us about a book then create a new thread and do it there. We welcome authors and publishers to share their books on our forums...just not in this thread. This thread is for active members to work together as a team to select our next non-fiction book.

When it comes time to narrow down the suggestions and pick a winning book we'll discard suggestions by people with only one or two posts on the forums. So if you're new and want to join the next discussion start participating in any of the current discussions happening on our forums. Show us you're here to stay and we'll take your book suggestion more seriously.

Important
Please read about the books your fellow members are suggesting. Would you read and discuss their suggestion if it was selected? Please say so! We need feedback from ALL of you on which suggestions look appealing and which do not excite you. Both positive and negative feedback is essential to this process so don't be shy. We're asking you for your honest opinion on each book suggested here.

OK, let the suggestions begin!



Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:37 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Acemoglu and Robinson

website http://whynationsfail.com/

Full Text free PDF: http://norayr.arnet.am/collections/book ... emoglu.pdf (5MB)

Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Why-Nations-Fail- ... B0058Z4NR8

Theme: THIS BOOK IS about the huge differences in incomes and standards of living that separate the rich and poor countries of the world

Reviews

“Acemoglu and Robinson have made an important contribution to the debate as to why similar-looking nations differ so greatly in their economic and political development. Through a broad multiplicity of historical examples, they show how institutional developments, sometimes based on very accidental circumstances, have had enormous consequences. The openness of a society, its willingness to permit creative destruction, and the rule of law appear to be decisive for economic development.” —Kenneth J. Arrow, Nobel laureate in economics, 1972

“The authors convincingly show that countries escape poverty only when they have appropriate economic institutions, especially private property and competition. More originally, they argue countries are more likely to develop the right institutions when they have an open pluralistic political system with competition for political office, a widespread electorate, and openness to new political leaders. This intimate connection between political and economic institutions is the heart of their major contribution, and has resulted in a study of great vitality on one of the crucial questions in economics and political economy.” —Gary S. Becker, Nobel laureate in economics, 1992

“This important and insightful book, packed with historical examples, makes the case that inclusive political institutions in support of inclusive economic institutions is key to sustained prosperity. The book reviews how some good regimes got launched and then had a virtuous spiral, while bad regimes remain in a vicious spiral. This is important analysis not to be missed.” —Peter Diamond, Nobel laureate in economics, 2010

“For those who think that a nation’s economic fate is determined by geography or culture, Daron Acemoglu and Jim Robinson have bad news. It’s manmade institutions, not the lay of the land or the faith of our forefathers, that determine whether a country is rich or poor. Synthesizing brilliantly the work of theorists from Adam Smith to Douglass North with more recent empirical research by economic historians, Acemoglu and Robinson have produced a compelling and highly readable book.” —Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money

“Acemoglu and Robinson—two of the world’s leading experts on development—reveal why it is not geography, disease, or culture that explain why some nations are rich and some poor, but rather a matter of institutions and politics. This highly accessible book provides welcome insight to specialists and general readers alike.” —Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man and The Origins of Political Order

“A brilliant and uplifting book—yet also a deeply disturbing wake-up call. Acemoglu and Robinson lay out a convincing theory of almost everything to do with economic development. Countries rise when they put in place the right pro-growth political institutions and they fail—often spectacularly—when those institutions ossify or fail to adapt. Powerful people always and everywhere seek to grab complete control over government, undermining broader social progress for their own greed. Keep those people in check with effective democracy or watch your nation fail.” —Simon Johnson, coauthor of 13 Bankers and professor at MIT Sloan

“Two of the world’s best and most erudite economists turn to the hardest issue of all: why are some nations poor and others rich? Written with a deep knowledge of economics and political history, this is perhaps the most powerful statement made to date that ‘institutions matter.’ A provocative, instructive, yet thoroughly enthralling book.” —Joel Mokyr, Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History, Northwestern University

“In this delightfully readable romp through four hundred years of history, two of the giants of contemporary social science bring us an inspiring and important message: it is freedom that makes the world rich. Let tyrants everywhere tremble!” —Ian Morris, Stanford University, author of Why the West Rules—for Now

“Imagine sitting around a table listening to Jared Diamond, Joseph Schumpeter, and James Madison reflect on more than two thousand years of political and economic history. Imagine that they weave their ideas into a coherent theoretical framework based on limiting extraction, promoting creative destruction, and creating strong political institutions that share power, and you begin to see the contribution of this brilliant and engagingly written book.” —Scott E. Page, University of Michigan and Santa Fe Institute

“In this stunningly wide-ranging book, Acemoglu and Robinson ask a simple but vital question, why do some nations become rich and others remain poor? Their answer is also simple—because some polities develop more inclusive political institutions. What is remarkable about the book is the crispness and clarity of the writing, the elegance of the argument, and the remarkable richness of historical detail. This book is a must-read at a moment when governments across the Western world must come up with the political will to deal with a debt crisis of unusual proportions.” —Steven Pincus, Bradford Durfee Professor of History and International and Area Studies, Yale University

“It’s the politics, stupid! That is Acemoglu and Robinson’s simple yet compelling explanation for why so many countries fail to develop. From the absolutism of the Stuarts to the antebellum South, from Sierra Leone to Colombia, this magisterial work shows how powerful elites rig the rules to benefit themselves at the expense of the many. Charting a careful course between the pessimists and optimists, the authors demonstrate history and geography need not be destiny. But they also document how sensible economic ideas and policies often achieve little in the absence of fundamental political change.” —Dani Rodrik, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

“This is not only a fascinating and interesting book: it is a really important one. The highly original research that Professors Acemoglu and Robinson have done, and continue to do, on how economic forces, politics, and policy choices evolve together and constrain each other, and how institutions affect that evolution, is essential to understanding the successes and failures of societies and nations. And here, in this book, these insights come in a highly accessible, indeed riveting form. Those who pick this book up and start reading will have trouble putting it down.” —Michael Spence, Nobel laureate in economics, 2001

“This fascinating and readable book centers on the complex joint evolution of political and economic institutions, in good directions and bad. It strikes a delicate balance between the logic of political and economic behavior and the shifts in direction created by contingent historical events, large and small, at ‘critical junctures.’ Acemoglu and Robinson provide an enormous range of historical examples to show how such shifts can tilt toward favorable institutions, progressive innovation, and economic success or toward repressive institutions and eventual decay or stagnation. Somehow they can generate both excitement and reflection.” —Robert Solow, Nobel laureate in economics, 1987


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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
Both these books will get people talking.

Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5551 ... earch=true

Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5155 ... earch=true



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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
I'd be interested in reading Why Nations Fail, and since I'm a fan of the show Sons of Anarchy, I'll read Hell's Angel too.



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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
I think "Why Nations Fail" would be a great choice. It has very good reviews and it should lend itself to spirited discussion. I've ordered my copy.



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Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:41 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
Ive started reading the online version of Why Nations Fail and am enjoying it


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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
These are all some great suggestions.

I'm particularly found of "Underboss: Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of Life in the Mafia" as my wife and I are fans of the TV show "Mob Wives." Sammy the Bull's daughter is one of the stars of the show and she recently released a book about her father. I don't know anything about her book, but I have always been fascinated by the Mafia.



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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
I'd read the Hell's Angels book too.



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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
Why Nations Fall seems to be very popular book. Just checked the catalogue of my library to reserve the book. Am at the end of a line of others who reserved it before me.



Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:52 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
So far Why Nations Fail is looking good.



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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
:RockOn:



Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:55 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
Yes I am enjoying Why Nations Fail. Just one question. When we discuss a book, do you read it as you go along, or read it first and then re read to discuss? I cant seem to get this quite right. If I re read I often get bored, if I read as I go along, I get impatient and end up reading a few other books and lose interest


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Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:55 am
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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
heledd wrote:
Yes I am enjoying Why Nations Fail. Just one question. When we discuss a book, do you read it as you go along, or read it first and then re read to discuss? I cant seem to get this quite right. If I re read I often get bored, if I read as I go along, I get impatient and end up reading a few other books and lose interest


I think it is best to write comments on a chapter or section of the book immediately when you have read it, and then only come back to reread the chapter if others also comment. People barely have time to read a book once, let alone twice. Discussions are prompted by immediate reactions as well as by more considered thoughts.


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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
Thanks Robert. I tend to wait till someone else has commented, but by then ive forgotten what Iwas going to say. By the way, I thought your name was just part of your avatar, but it seems not. What a lovely surname!


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Post Re: WANTED: Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for our January, February & March Discussion
Let's go with Why Nations Fail. It is the most popular choice here. I'll create the forum right now. :-)



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