As Amazon Books describes it: "In strong opposition to the popular view that success is determined by cultural differences, de Soto finds that it actually has to do with the legal structure of property and property rights. Every developed nation in the world at one time went through the transformation from predominantly informal, extralegal ownership to a formal, unified legal property system, but in the West we've forgotten that creating this system is also what allowed people everywhere to leverage property into wealth. This persuasive book will revolutionize our understanding of capital and point the way to a major transformation of the world economy."
The book has won numerous accolades. A sample of them are:
Ronald Coase, Nobel Laureate in Economics
"A very great book...powerful and completely convincing. It will have a most salutary effect on the views held on economic development."
Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate in Economics
"Hernando de Soto has demonstrated in practice that titling hitherto untitled assets is an extremely effective way to enable the less privileged to take full advantage of their opportunities and to promote economic development of society as a whole. He offers politicians a project which can be personally satisfying, contribute to the welfare of their country, and at the same time enhance their own political standing, a wonderful combination."
Francis Fukuyama Author of "The End of History and The Last Man"
"De Soto has singlehandedly been fomenting a revolution in the Third World,....The Mystery of Capital documents his rich practical insights from decades of experience in the field, and constitutes one of the few new and genuinely promising approaches to overcoming poverty to come along in a very long time."
Lord David Owen, Former Foreign Secretary of the United
"Fresh thinking is rare... [It] explains how economies fail that have not first created the vital legal structures..."
Lady Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
"The Mystery of Capital has the potential to create a new, enormously beneficial revolution, for it addresses the single greatest source of failure in the Third World and ex-communist countries - the lack of a rule of law that upholds private property and provides a framework for enterprise. It should be compulsory reading for all in charge of the 'Wealth of Nations'."
Walter Wriston, Chairman emeritus, Citigroup
"This book is first class. It makes a very solid case for a way to improve the lot of people in the developing world."
Niall Ferguson, author of The Pity of War and Cash Nexus
"[A] brilliant and illuminating book. Its empirical foundations are truly exceptional.
Times of London
"Fastidious in its search for the facts but passionate in spirit and language...the blueprint for a new industrial revolution."
Laurence Minoral, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Global, 1/08/01
"If a nonmathematician can win a Nobel Prize in Economics, I nominate de Soto."