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Betting on Ideas: Wars, Invention, Inflation
by Reuven Brenner
University of Chicago Press, 1986
Cloth: 978-0-226-07400-9 | Paper: 978-0-226-07401-6
Library of Congress Classification HN8.B687 1985
Dewey Decimal Classification 302

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In this book, Reuven Brenner argues that people bet on new ideas and are more willing to take risks when they have been outdone by their fellows on local, national, or international scales. Such bets mean that people deviate from the beaten path and either gamble, commit crimes, or come up with new ideas in art, business, or politics, and ideas concerning war and peace in particular. By using evidence on gambling, crime, and creativity now and during the Industrial Revolution, by examining innovations in English and French inheritance laws and the emergence of welfare legislation, and by looking at what has happened before and after wars, Brenner reaches the conclusion that hope and fear, envy and vanity, sentiments provoked when being leapfrogged, make humans race.

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