Why does capitalism triumph in the West but fail almost everywhere else? Elegantly, and with rare clarity, Hernando de Soto revolutionizes our understanding of what capital is and why it has failed to benefit four-fifths of mankind -- and explains the solution. 'A revolutionary book ...may not be in the class of Das Kapital, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations or Keynes's General Theory. But if the criteria for joining that exclusive club is a capacity not only to change permanently the way we look at the world, but also to change the world itself, then there are good grounds for thinking that this book is surely a contender.' Donald Macintyre, The Independent 'Few people in Britain have heard of Hernando de Soto ...but The Mystery of Capital has already led the cognoscenti to put him in the pantheon of great progressive intellectuals of our age.' Mark Leonard, New Statesman 'A crucial contribution. A new proposal for change that is valid for the whole world' - Javier Perez de Cuellar (Former Secretary United Nations)
Hernando de Soto is the founder and President of the Institute of Liberty and Democracy (ILD) in Lima, Peru, regarded by The Economist as the second most important think-tank in the world. He has also been an economist for GATT (now WTO), CEO of one of Europe's largest engineering firms, and as a governor of Peru's Central Reserve Bank. As President Alberto Fujimori's Personal Representative and Principal Advisor, he initiated Peru's economic reforms and played a leading role in modernizing its economic and political system. In 1993 de Soto drew up and negotiated the strategic plan that reversed Fujimori's coup d'etat and returned the country to electoral democracy. He and ILD are currently working in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America on the practical implementation of the measures for bringing the poor into the economic mainstream introduced in The Mystery of Capital. He was recently listed by Time magazine as one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the twentieth century. His previous book, The Other Path, was published in more than ten languages and was a number one bestseller throughout Latin America.