Informals of the world unite

Geoffrey Hawthorn

  • The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World by Hernando de Soto, translated by June Abbott
    Tauris, 271 pp, £14.95, June 1989, ISBN 1 85043 144 2
  • Cocaine: White Gold Rush in Peru by Edmundo Morales
    University of Arizona Press, 228 pp, £17.95, August 1989, ISBN 0 8165 1066 0
  • A Concise Economic History of the World: From Paleolithic Times to the Present by Rondo Cameron
    Oxford, 437 pp, £30.00, July 1989, ISBN 0 19 504677 3

For an economic tract, Hernando de Soto’s book has had a remarkable success. It was first published in Lima, its subject, in 1986, but at once became a best-seller throughout Latin America. It is said to have been read with interest in China and the Soviet Union, and this summer de Soto was invited to Washington to discuss it with the American Treasury Secretary. De Soto says he was prompted to write it by Mario Vargas Llosa, who himself introduces it and has in effect made it his manifesto for the Presidential election in Peru next year.

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