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Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity Paperback – 1 Jun 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press; 1st Free Press Pbk. Ed edition (1 Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684825252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684825250
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 657,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Johanna Neuman "USA Today" The book, like its title, is an investment worth making.

Johanna Neuman

"USA Today"

The book, like its title, is an investment worth making.



Robert Kaplan

"Los Angeles Times Book Review"

A work of interdisciplinary synthesis that shows a superior mind in action.



Amitai Etzioni

"Washington Post Book World"

The ultimate book for those who seek to understand economics but realize that they are nestled in societies and cultures. A whole new way of doing economics.



Robert Kaplan "Los Angeles Times Book Review" A work of interdisciplinary synthesis that shows a superior mind in action.

Amitai Etzioni "Washington Post Book World" The ultimate book for those who seek to understand economics but realize that they are nestled in societies and cultures. A whole new way of doing economics.

About the Author

Francis Fukuyama, a senior social scientist at the Rand Corporation, lives in McLean, Virginia.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a result of his previous major work Francis Fukuyama achieved fame as the man who predicted 'the end of history'. With this new work he has turned his attention from the political arena to consider comparative international economic performance. He describes the broad theme of Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity as follows; "that social capital has a significant impact on the vitality and scale of economic organizations".

Many commentators have tried to evaluate the importance of culture in determining national economic success. Fukuyama claims to have identified the key, performance-determining, aspect of national culture, namely, the level of trust present in a society. He maintains that culture is of critical importance to everyday economic life and that only high trust societies can create the kind of large scale business enterprises that are needed to compete in today's global economy.

The culturalist view of history attributes the success of Japan and later of other East Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan to their common Confucian traditions and their concomitant cultural characteristics. However, the traditional drawing of distinctions between Eastern and Western cultures is seen as too simplistic by Fukuyama, who points out the many differences inherent in East Asian societies. He points out not only the differences between Japan and China, but also those between China and Chinese societies abroad such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. This attention to detail and depth of analysis is one of the strengths of Fukuyama's study.
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Format: Paperback
In this challenging book, author Francis Fukuyama examines the role of "trust" in economics. He proposes that it is the social capital of a given country (or even area within a country) that defines how its economy functions. In a high-trust society, individuals have a propensity to join voluntary organizations, and as such there are likely to be many organizations (including business organizations), of all sizes. In a low-trust society, where individuals are only able to organize within their own clan or family, organizations are likely to be either small, or very large (and state-operated). Along the way, he examines countries around the globe, but focusing primarily on China and the Confusion countries, Italy, France and Korea (as low-trust societies), and Japan, Germany and the United States (as high-trust societies).
I found this book to be quite fascinating. I must admit that I am not an expert on economics, but I found the author's arguments quite convincing. His examination of various countries explained a lot of things that I have noticed before, but he succeeds in putting it all into a whole new paradigm. I highly enjoyed this though-provoking book, and recommend it to everyone!
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Format: Paperback
Reviews of Fukuyama's book Trust tend to be by those who read it for the political and economic insights. Since I have lived in Asia and Africa, what interested me was the insight on how lines of trust between human beings are seen by different cultures.
Reading this book explains why Americans should hesitate to invest in China (they only really trust those in their own families). It explains why Japanese trust their companies not to be fired. And it explains why American conservatives favor local and private solutions to problems rather than government.
Businessmen and others who assume all people think like Americans might benefit from reading this.
One problem is that it is a thoughtful book, but not a book that is easy to read.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a post-modern liberal-minded type, swear by the perfectibility of democratic capitalism and put your faith in the healing powers arational phenomena like culture and religion have on our over-busy life then you would like this book. Moreover, if you are a sociologist then you would appreciate the lucidity of thought and tenacity of argument that the author shows when he examines different societies. Even then if you are a leading American political scientist and a best-seller author then you must be Francis Fukuyama himself.
Francis Fukuyama's book comes as a sequel to his magnum opus 'The End of History and The Last Man' which made waves in academic circles. In this book he claimed that after the demise of communism, history had virtually come to a halt - income the free market concepts like de-regulation, liberalization and free competition and all others exeunt.
In his latest book, he adds another ingredient for the making of a successful society - social capital. The author gives the idea of trust. According to him trust is the expectation that arises within a community of regular, honest, and cooperative behaviour, based on commonly shared norms, on part of other members of that community.
He divides societies on the basis of the quantum of trust that exists therein. China, France, Korea and Italy are low-trust societies whereas Japan, Germany, America are high-trust.
He starts from social set-up and correlates it with the industrial structure a society may evolve for itself, and tells how the former determines the position of a country in the global diversion of labour. Though people may interact through contract lams but if they trust each other the cost may be effectively reduced.
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