Divergent Paths
30%
off

Divergent Paths : How Culture and Institutions Have Shaped North American Growth

5 (1 rating by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas

Description

Why are some countries without an apparent abundance of natural resources, such as Japan, economic success stories, while other languish in the doldrums of slow growth. In this comprehensive look at North American economic history, Marc Egnal argues that culture and institutions play an integral role in determining economic outcome. He focuses his examination on the eight colonies of the North, five colonies of the South (which together made up the original thirteen states), and French Canada. Using census data, diaries, travelers' accounts, and current scholarship, Egnal systematically explores how institutions (such as slavery in the South and the seigneurial system in French Canada) and cultural arenas (such as religion, literacy, entrepreneurial spirit, and intellectual activity) influenced development. He seeks to answer why three societies with similar standards of living in 1750 became so dissimilar in development. By the mid-nineteenth century, the northern states had surged ahead in growth, and this gap continued to widen into the twentieth century. Egnal argues that culture and institutions allowed this growth in the North, not resources or government policies. Both the South and French Canada stressed hierarchy and social order more than the drive for wealth. Rarely have such parallels been drawn between these two societies. Complete numerous helpful appendices, figures, tables, and maps, Divergent Paths is a rich source of unique perspectives on economic development with strong implications for emerging societies.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 157.2 x 234.2 x 17.8mm | 507.6g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 15 figures, 7 tables, 4 maps
  • 0195109066
  • 9780195109061

Review quote

"...provocative, ambitious, and curious....an excellent starting point for discussions on what accounted for economic development in North America."-The Journal of American History "This book is provocative, informative, and fun-to-read...In the end, the value of this book lies in the thought-provoking questions it raises, not with the definitive answers it provides...It is to Marc Egnal's credit that he raises these issues in such an interesting way."-EH.NET "This is a provocative and erudite study. It deserves a wide readership."-American Historical Review "Divergent Paths...deserves a loud round of applause from all historians, simply because it takes a risk and grabs hold of a subject-economic growth-that has long been purely the province of the economists and economic historians and treats it as a topic in cultural and comparative history."-H-Net Reviews "Within a relatively short compass Egnal provides considerable detail and comparative analysis.... This book is stimulating and thought-provoking."-Choice "Based upon wide reading and thoughtful analysis, the volume is a useful case study of the cultural determinants of economic development"-Journal of Interdiscplinary History "This is a provcoative, valuable essay on a topic too long neglected by historians; it should be the starting point for a lively and salutary debate"-Journal of Southern History "This is a provocative, well-written, and well-documented book which is a must read, if only because it reintroduces the question of the importance of culture and institutions as a causal determinant of economic development and growth to an understanding of North American economic history." -Business History Review "a fascinating, scholarly, and intriguing account which enriches our understanding of the complexities of regional development."-The Journal of Economic History "[The author's] conclusions are carefully presented. [Divergent Paths] makes for very interesting reading. Works of this type are great fun to read and to argue about."-Journal of Comparative Economics "Marc Egnal's Divergent Paths is a fresh and original look at three very different North American regional responses to the challenge of modern economic growth. Adding French Canada to the mix is so informative that one wonders why it has not been done before. The book will get widespread attention, and deservedly so."-Gavin Wright, Stanford University "The virtues of comparative history are much preached, but little practiced. Marc Egnal's Divergent Paths is a model of what might be done. It is crisp, clear-headed, and continuously enlightening for readers interested in Canada, the United States, and comparative history in general."-David Hackett Fischer, Brandeis University "...we should be thankful for Marc Egnal's Divergent Paths. Egnal here looks at the big picture and has produced a provocative, ambitious, and curious book about the nature of economic development in North America from the nid-eighteenth century to the present....his exploration...will remain an excellent starting point for discussions on what accounted for economic development in North America."-Journal of American History "Wonderful comparisons of the three regions that have affected the U.S. economy since colonial times. Excellent integration of historical events and their impact on [the] U.S. economy."-Kevin T. Davis, Our Lady of the Lake Universityshow more

Back cover copy

Marc Egnal's Divergent Paths is a fresh and original look at three very different North American regional responses to the challenge of modern economic growth. Adding French Canada to the comparative mix is so informative that one wonders why it has not been done before.show more

Rating details

1 ratings
5 out of 5 stars
5 100% (1)
4 0% (0)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X