Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress


Prominent scholars and journalists ponder the question of why, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the world is more divided than ever between the rich and the poor, between those living in freedom and those under oppression.

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Prominent scholars and journalists ponder the question of why, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the world is more divided than ever between the rich and the poor, between those living in freedom and those under oppression.

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Editorial Reviews

Lance Morrow
A fascinating book. Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress proclaims the secret in its title and, in a series of twenty-two essays by scholars, journalists, and global-business experts, studies the record of societies' success and failures in the light of their cultural inheritances and internalized mental models.—Time
Tamar Jacoby
Offers hope of an important countercurrent to today's received wisdom about poverty and the fate of ethnic minorities. —Wall Street Journal
Foreign Affairs
In exposing the tangle of causality and processes that link culture and economics, these essays put the debate on a constructive path.
Library Journal
Why do some cultures achieve economic success while others languish? Why do some countries develop successful democracies while others continue to undergo political upheavals? Are these discrepancies because of the cultural values of a people and their country? How important are these values, and can they be modified? These questions and others are discussed within the wide-ranging, thought-provoking, and sometimes quite controversial essays presented here. Drawn from a symposium sponsored by the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, essays by David Landes, Lucien Pye, Barbara Crossette, and others cover a wide variety of topics, from the effect of culture on various countries throughout the world to a discussion of culture and its role in gender issues. Also of interest are essays on how cultural issues may be the root cause of African American underachievement in the United States. Those interested in economics, cultural studies, international studies, and political science will find much to think about in this challenging collection. For academic libraries.--Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Scholars and journalists from around the world consider the political and economic differences around the world, and the relationship between these elements and the values of a culture. Specific essays focus on economic development, political development, anthropological debates, gender issues, the status of American minorities, the Asian crisis, and the possibility of change. The analysis emphasizes cultural causes rather than traditional explanations relating to colonialism, racism, and dependency. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465031764
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 670,213
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence E. Harrison directed USAID missions in five Latin American countries between 1965 and 1981. He is the author of Underdevelopment Is a State of Mind: The Latin American Case, and was the U.S. member on the Haiti crisis mission of the Organization of American States in 1991 and 1992. Lawrence E. Harrison is a senior fellow at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and the author of Who Prospers? and The Pan-American Dream.Samuel P. Huntington is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor of Government at Harvard University and the author of The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of the World Order.

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