What We Are Reading Today: Success and Luck by Robert H. Frank

Updated 04 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Success and Luck by Robert H. Frank

  • Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success

How important is luck in economic success? No question more reliably divides conservatives from liberals. As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hardworking. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much.

In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. 

In Success and Luck, bestselling author and New York Times economics columnist Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success— and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy.

Frank describes how, in a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, chance opportunities and trivial initial advantages often translate into much larger ones— and enormous income differences— over time; how false beliefs about luck persist, despite compelling evidence against them; and how myths about personal success and luck shape individual and political choices in harmful ways.


What We Are Reading Today: Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo

Updated 26 March 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo

Author: Seth Anziska

The 1978 Camp David Accords and the signing of the Egypt- Israel peace treaty are widely viewed as a triumph of US diplomacy in the Middle East.

Yet the Palestinians—the would-be beneficiaries of this vision for a comprehensive regional settlement—remain without a state to this day.

How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska’s groundbreaking history of the Palestinian- Israeli peace process.

Based on newly declassified sources and interviews with key participants, Preventing Palestine charts how Egyptian-Israeli peace was forged at the cost of sovereignty for the Palestinians, creating crippling challenges to their aspirations for a homeland— hurdles that only increased with Israeli settlement expansion and Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

The first intifada and the end of the Cold War brought new opportunities for a Palestinian state, but the 1993 Oslo Accords undermined the meaning of independence. Filled with astute political analysis, Preventing Palestine offers a bold new interpretation of an enduring struggle for selfdetermination

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