“Why Did Europe Get Rich First?” Learning Path

One the most discussed topics in modern history is trying to account for the rapid economic growth of Europe long before the rest of the world. Some researchers identify the Medieval or Early Modern time period as being critical time period for divergence with the rest of the world, but most focus on the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. Related to this topic is why Britain was the first nation to industrialize.

I recommend that you read these book summaries in the following order:

  1. “Why the West Rules-for Now: The Patterns of History” by Ian Morris
  2. “Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity” by Walter Scheidel
  3. “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations” by David Landes
  4. “Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850” by Joel Mokyr
  5. The WIERDest People in the World” by Joseph Henrich
  6. “A Culture of Growth” by Joel Mokyr
  7. “Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World” by Deirdre McCloskey
  8. “The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created” by William J. Bernstein
  9. “Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World” by Deirdre McCloskey
  10. “Why Europe?: The Rise of the West…” by Jack Goldstone
  11. “Why did Europe Conquer the World?” by Philip Hoffman
  12. “Inventing Freedom: How the English… Made the Modern World” by Daniel Hannan
  13. “Rulers, Religion, and Riches” by Jared Rubin
  14. The Making of Europe… 950-1350” by Robert Bartlett
  15. “Power over Peoples: Technology, Environments and Western Imperialism…” by Daniel Headrick
  16. “Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path” by Michael Mitteraur
  17. “The Early Modern Great Divergence” by Broadberry and Gupta
  18. “England’s Divergence from China’s Yangzi Delta” by Brenner and Isett
  19. “Needham Puzzle: Why the Industrial Revolution Did not Originate in China” by Justin Lin

If there is a book that you find particularly interesting, please support the author by buying the book.