Books for Africans

Last year before leaving for Liberia, I solicited book recommendations from a few friends (including Alex).  I wanted to come up with a fairly short list of books that Liberian leaders should read if they were interested in building an economic system that would be conducive to economic growth.

Here is the list of books that I took and donated to a college library:

  1. The Birth of Plenty, by William Bernstein
  2. The Noblest Triumph, by Tom Bethell
  3. The Mystery of Capital, by Hernando De Soto
  4. The Elusive Quest for Growth, by William Easterly
  5. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, by David Landes
  6. How the West Grew Rich, by Nathan Rosenberg and L.E. Birdzell

My lectures last year were essentially built around the material in Easterly’s book.  This year, I’ll be lecturing from Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity, by James Gwartney, et al.  In fact, Jim Gwartney personally donated twenty-five copies of this book for me to take along for the Liberians!

So what books would you take if you were headed off to sub-Saharan Africa, with the chance to lecture to academicians and policy makers?  I have opened up the comments section for you to post your suggestions.


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