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David S. Landes
Born(1924-04-29)April 29, 1924
DiedAugust 17, 2013(2013-08-17) (aged 89)
Haverford, Pennsylvania
NationalityUnited States
InstitutionHarvard University
FieldEconomic History
Alma materHarvard University
City College of New York
AwardsDocteur honoris causa, Université de Lille, France, 1973
Docteur ès Sciences économiques et sociales, honoris causa, Université de Genève, Switzerland, 1990
Doctor, honoris causa, University of Ancona, 1990
Docteur ès Sciences économiques, Université de Neuchâtel, 1991
Docteur honoris causa, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, 1993
Doctor honoris causa, Bard College, 1999
Professor honoris causa, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Jouy-en-Josas, 2000

David Saul Landes (April 29, 1924 – August 17, 2013) was a professor of economics and of history at Harvard University.[1] He is the author of Bankers and Pashas, Revolution in Time, The Unbound Prometheus, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, and Dynasties.[2] 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 B.A. from City College of New York in 1942.[3] While he waited his call up to serve in World War II, Landes studied cryptanalysis. He was assigned to the Signal Corps where he worked on deciphering coded Japanese messages.[4]

Historian Niall Ferguson called him one of his "most revered mentors".[5]

Landes had a scholarly disagreement with Stephen Marglin over the Industrial Revolution.[citation needed]

His son is Richard Landes, the American historian and author, an associate professor in the Department of History at Boston University.[6]


  • Landes, David S. (2007). Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World's Great Family Businesses: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-03338-6.
  • Landes, David S. (1998). The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-04017-8.
  • 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.
  • Landes, David S., Bankers and Pashas: International Finance and Economic Imperialism in Egypt (1958) [1]

See also


External links

This page was last edited on 13 May 2021, at 10:40
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