To Get Rich Is Glorious
Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World.
By Deirdre McCloskey.
Univ. of Chicago Press. 571 pp. $35
There are dozens of theories to explain the transformation that sparked the Industrial Revolution in Britain and, consequently, shaped the modern world. Some historians say that the traditions of British liberty, law, and private property were behind it. A religious variant of this idea is that it could never have happened without the Reformation and the Protestant ethic. Intellectual historians talk of the impact of the Enlightenment. Some economists point to the capital accumulations that resulted from the slave trade and the exploitation of India and other colonies. Scientists cite the...