The Birth of Plenty

by William J. Bernstein

I’m still not convinced that Bernstein had set out to write a book when he first wrote this book. It’s an textbokk shoved into roughly 386 pages where every single page slowly but surely hammers his points about property rights, scientific rationalism, capital markets, and improvements in transport and communication home.

While I don’t believe that Bernstein should be taken at his word on the development of prosperity, I do think that this is an incredibly cohesive narrative around why prosperity occured. The school of thought around property rights, rationalism, markets, and other improvements is not only logical but also backed with wealths of evidence (there’s roughly 50 pages of sources at the end of the book).

I’m not too sure if there’s any pratical applications of this book to my every day life but reading it has been one of the best intellectual journeys in 2021 and I hope to one day revisit and perhaps be in a position to apply parts of its learnings.


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