David Landes

Some Nations, Such as Switzerland, Benefit From Technological Change More Than Others

David Saul Landes (usually cited as David S. Landes; April 29, 1924 – August 17, 2013)

was a professor of economics and of history at Harvard University. He is the author of Bankers and Pashas, Revolution in Time, The Unbound Prometheus, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations and Dynasties. Such works have received both praise for detailed retelling of economic history, as well as scorn on charges of Eurocentrism, a charge he openly embraced, arguing that an explanation for an economic miracle that happened originally only in Europe must of necessity be a Eurocentric analysis.

Landes earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1953 and an A.B. from City College of New York in 1942.

The historian Niall Ferguson called him one of his "most revered mentors".

Landes had a scholarly disagreement with Stephen Marglin over the Industrial Revolution.

His son is Richard Landes, the American historian and author, an associate professor in the Department of History at Boston University.




  • Landes, David S. (1998). The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. New York: W.W. Norton. 

  • Landes, David S. (1983). Revolution in Time. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00282-2.
  • Landes, David. S. (1969). The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present. Cambridge, New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-09418-6.

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