Advanced Praise

“Read this brilliant, highly readable, inspiring book before the woke cancel culture hears about it! The astonishing tales told here about the miraculous transformation of two seemingly disparate nations—Poland and Vietnam— from socialist sinkholes of misery into vibrant, prosperous, opportunity-rich economies resoundingly reaffirm the truth of the positive, inclusive power of free markets. This book couldn’t be more timely in today’s troubled world.”
Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief, Forbes

“Many great libertarian thinkers were economists or philosophers. Zitelmann is a historian and sociologist. He does not argue theoretically, but empirically. In his book, he shows that development aid and redistribution do not eliminate poverty, but private property, entrepreneurship, and capitalism do.”
John Mackey, co-founder, Whole Foods Markets

“Anti-capitalists believe that the economy is a zero-sum game. They want to help the poor by taking money away from the rich. They want to help poor countries through development aid. Based on scientific studies, Zitelmann shows that this concept has never worked. But as soon as people are given more economic freedom, their standard of living improves dramatically, as Zitelmann demonstrates through the examples of Poland and Vietnam. Capitalism is so effective that even a few drops of it can work wonders. What miracles would only be possible with real capitalism?”
Jennifer Grossman, CEO, Atlas Society

“Public intellectuals in relatively free economies have crippled poor nations struggling to rebuild after years of socialism by lying to the world about how jobs and wealth are created. A powerful and needed antidote to the lies of the self-hating academics is Dr. Rainer Zitelmann’s new book examining and highlighting the success of Poland and Vietnam emerging from imposed economic statism. The model that built the modern West can also rebuild those nations enslaved during the Cold War: property rights, low tax and regulatory regimes, open trade and limited government.”
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform

“One of the most exciting developments over the last quarter-century has been the revival of social and economic freedom in both Eastern Europe and Asia. Zitelmann’s case studies show how they did it, and what other countries need to do to enjoy a similar revival.”
Eamonn Butler, director, the Adam Smith Institute, London

“Imparting surprises on every page, even for sophisticated theorists of capitalism, Zitelmann’s book makes a major new contribution to the wealth of nations.”
George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty

“This book reminds us with unimpeachable data that economic freedom is the key to prosperity and socialism is the best path to despair. The paradox is why so many young people are taught and believe exactly the opposite. We might as well be teaching them that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.”
Stephen Moore, senior economist, The Heritage Foundation

“Rainer Zitelmann has been one of the most prolific and effective defenders of free enterprise for many years. In his new book, Zitelmann details the political and economic reforms that turned once poor and stagnating communist basket cases of Vietnam and Poland into fast-growing economies whose people enjoy much improved standards of living. It should be read by would-be reformers everywhere.”
Marian Tupy, senior fellow, the Cato Institute, and founder of

“Capitalism has lacked a unifying public figure since Milton Friedman left the building in 2006. Now, there is, at long last, a worthy candidate for Friedman’s rightful successor. I praise Dr. Rainer Zitelmann as the reigning public intellectual champion of capitalism. With his book How Nations Escape Poverty, he proves once again that as a historian and sociologist he has followed in the footsteps of the greatest freedom thinkers.”
Ralph Benko, co-author of The Capitalist Manifesto and co-founder and chairman of the Capitalist League

“Billionaires usually get a bad press, but Rainer Zitelmann shows in his outstanding new book that economic growth takes off when free markets permit them to create new products and encourage other people to emulate them. As Adam Smith long ago argued, economic growth is the key to ending poverty. Zitelmann documents his thesis to the hilt through detailed accounts of the economies of Poland and Vietnam. The book is a magnificent achievement.”
David Gordon, senior fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute, and editor of the Journal of Libertarian Studies

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