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Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself

by Lawrence E. Harrison

Book Reviews

"Nothing is so important and tenacious as culture (values and institutions) in shaping economic performance, and nothing so decisive as economic performance in determining political and social possibilities and structure. This book is a global, historical, empirical approach to these connections, as exemplified by the major stories of success, failure, and cases in between. I can think of no better entrance to the topic, both for what it teaches and the way it invites and prepares the reader to continue. A gateway study." 
--David S. Landes, author of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor

"Lawrence Harrison's previous writings have made him a leading, perhaps the leading, scholar exploring, analyzing, and documenting the central impact of culture on how society develops, or fails to develop, economically and politically. In The Central Liberal Truth, he draws on his immense knowledge and long experience to spell out the ways societies suffering from cultural attributes unfavorable to development can overcome these obstacles. The Central Liberal Truth is an impressive, persuasive, and indispensable book for anyone interested in improving the conditions of human life in poor countries." 
--Samuel Huntington, author of Who Are We: The Challenges to American National Identity and The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

"Authors who emphasize the role of culture in development are often accused of consigning whole peoples to backwardness because they are locked into the wrong values. Larry Harrison takes culture seriously, but shows that culture evolves, and offers a practical agenda for cultural change." 
--Francis Fukuyama, author of Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq and The End of History and the Last Man

"A book of enormous importance and startling originality. Harrison has pulled off an amazing intellectual feat. He has drawn our attention both to the centrality of culture in historical outcomes and to the ability of good public policy to reshape economic and political history."
--Fouad Ajami, Majid Khadduri Professor and Director of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies