A short but thorough primer on modern political economy.

RICH NATION / POOR NATION

WHY SOME NATIONS PROSPER WHILE OTHERS FAIL

A defense of economic freedom as the linchpin of wealth creation.

Debates about economics and politics necessarily address the nature of inequality and distributive justice. To that end, Genetski (Classical Economic Principals & the Wealth of Nations, 2011, etc.), inspired by famed economists Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, argues that individual freedom is both morally and economically defensible, as it’s the most effective tonic to chronic poverty. First, the author defines wealth (“the value of those goods and services originally created to meet the demands of others”), plumbs the mechanics of its generation, and discusses the real difficulties of comparing the wealth of heterogeneous nations. He asserts that the most reliable way to comparatively measure wealth is by output per person; China is the world’s largest economy, but by this standard, it barely registers as a middle-class nation. A considerable portion of the book focuses on the United States, and according to Genetski, its wages and wealth creation have generally coincided with fidelity to free market principles. The author also provides a brief analysis of the world’s major economic regions, including Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Repeatedly, he discovers a causal relation between robust market liberalization and wealth generation, and he powerfully contends that involuntary wealth redistributions ultimately perpetuate poverty by dramatically reducing future output. Genetski’s analysis is remarkably concise, and the ground that he covers in fewer than 150 pages is impressive. Of course, that same concision demands the elision of significant detail; all of modern Latin America, for instance, is summed up in just a few pages. The book is unfailingly rigorous, providing hard data to substantiate its chief claims, but the philosophical argument undergirding the entire study—that people of all cultures ultimately desire freedom and generally respond predictably to the same economic policies—requires far more defense than the author gives here. Nonetheless, this is a sober and provocative contribution to the debate regarding the role of governments in regulating economic activity.

A short but thorough primer on modern political economy. 

Pub Date: March 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4999-0277-8

Page Count: 152

Publisher: FastPencil

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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