"the hour of capitalism’s greatest triumph," writes hernando de soto, "is, in the eyes of four-fifths of humanity, its hour of crisis." in the mystery of capital, the world-famous peruvian economist takes up the question that, more than any other, is central to one of the most crucial problems the world faces today: why do some countries succeed at capitalism while others fail? in strong opposition to the popular view that success is determined by cultural differences, de soto finds that it actually has everything to do with the legal structure of property and property rights. every developed nation in the world at one time went through the transformation from predominantly informal, extralegal ownership to a formal, unified legal property system. in the west we’ve forgotten that creating this system is also what allowed people everywhere to leverage property into wealth. this persuasive book will revolutionize our understanding of capital and point the way to a major transformation of the world economy.
life isn’t fair—here’s why: since 1500, europeans have, for better & worse, called the tune that the world has danced to. in guns, germs & steel, jared diamond explains the reasons why things worked out that way. it’s an elemental question. diamond is certainly not the 1st to ask it. however, he performs a singular service by relying on scientific fact rather than specious theories of european genetic superiority. diamond, a ucla physiologist, suggests that the geography of eurasia was best suited to farming, the domestication of animals & the free flow of information. the more populous cultures that developed as a result had more complex forms of government & communication, & increased resistance to disease. finally, fragmented europe harnessed the power of competitive innovation in ways that china didn’t. (for example, the europeans used the chinese invention of gunpowder to create guns & subjugate the new world.) diamond’s book is complex & a bit overwhelming. but the thesis he methodically puts forth—examining the “positive feedback loop” of farming, then domestication, then population density, then innovation etc.—makes sense. written without bias, guns, germs & steel is good global history.
a leading evolutionary psychologist probes the unconscious instincts behind american consumer culture
illuminating the hidden reasons for why we buy what we do, spent applies evolutionary psychology to the sensual wonderland of marketing and perceived status that is american consumer culture. geoffrey miller starts with the theory that we purchase things to advertise ourselves to others, and then examines other factors that dictate what we spend money on. with humor and insight, miller analyzes an array of product choices and deciphers what our decisions say about ourselves, giving us access to a new way of understanding-and improving-our behaviors to become happier consumers.
influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. dr. robert cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. his thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
you’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.