Alain Peyrefitte

The Economic "Miracle" (Coll. Opus) Publication date : October 1, 1998

The Collège de France invited Alain Peyrefitte to give a series of lectures on the "miracle" of development, a subject that has been central to his work for forty years. Penury has been the lot of humanity since its origins. Only two hundred years ago, endemic diseases, famine, a high mortality rate, and illiteracy were rampant in western Europe -- just as they are today in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Yet western Europe, followed by the United States and Japan, has, to a large extent, freed itself from these scourges. How can the miracle of development be understood and explained? How can it be extended to the three-quarters of humanity who continue to be preyed upon by dictatorships or anarchy, violence or dire poverty?

Alain Peyrefitte is a member of the Académie Française and of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.