jerryking + historians + industrial_age   1

Historian David Landes’s theories of ‘superior’ cultures are still polarizing
Sep. 11 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | DOUGLAS MARTIN

David Landes, a distinguished Harvard scholar of economic history, saw tidal movements in the rise of seemingly small things. He suggested that the development of eyeglasses made precision tools possible. Maybe, he said, using chopsticks helped Asian workers gain the manual dexterity needed to make microprocessors....In his 482-page Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World, published in 1983, Prof. Landes examined the growth of the Industrial Age through the history of timepieces, tracing their origin to medieval European monasteries; monks, he wrote, needed something to tell them when to gather for a regular round of group prayer.... His most influential work, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor (1998), answered the question posed in its title (a play on that of Adam Smith’s classic work) by pointing to the importance of the Protestant work ethic and European attitudes toward science and technology....His dissertation became his first book, Bankers and Pashas: International Finance and Economic Imperialism in Egypt....Reviewing his 2006 book, Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World’s Great Family Businesses, for The Times of London, Christopher Silvester described the writing as pithy, thoughtful and sprightly. The book offers 13 sketches of tycoons, including Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller and Armand Peugeot.
historians  obituaries  books  cultural_values  family_business  economic_history  scholars  Harvard  work_ethic  industrial_age  precision  manual_dexterity  moguls 
september 2013 by jerryking

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