The Rise and Fall of the Wealth of Nations is an interdisciplinary study concerning growth and cycles in economic development. It builds a bridge between rigorous economic theory and historical studies of long run economic evolution. This authoritative book explains long waves of economic activity and the rivalry of nations for leadership. It considers the concept that such waves of activity are characterized by a cyclical change of societies focusing alternately on capital accumulation and distribution. It also discusses the idea that a change in the economic leadership of a nation occurs after nations reach the height of their influence and turn away from accumulating capital in favour of distribution of income and wealth. This volume will be welcomed by academics, policymakers and students of economics and economic history.