Why it pays to be free

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson. Profile, €28. Reviewed by Dick O'Brien.

24th March, 2012
Why it pays to be free
A Mexican immigrant at the US-Mexico border in Nogales. Photo: Getty

Why Nations Fail

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When Botswana became independent in 1966, it didn't have much going for it. An underdeveloped backwater of the British Empire, it was one of the poorest countries on earth, with only 12 kilometres of paved roads, 22 university graduates and 100 secondary school graduates.

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