Peter Bauer's books on economic development demolish many myths about the causes of poverty in the Third World-- and about "foreign aid" as a way of relieving that poverty. The last of these books was the best, Equality, the Third World and Economic Delusion.
If you are interested specifically in why Latin American economies have lagged behind for so long, try reading Underdevelopment is a State of Mind by Lawrence Harrison.
Among my own books, those that the most readers have said changed their minds have been A Conflict of Visions, Basic Economics, and Black Rednecks and White Liberals.
A Conflict of Visions is my own favorite among my books. It traces the underlying assumptions behind opposing ideologies that have dominated the Western world over the past two centuries and are still going strong today. The Vision of the Anointed is another book of mine that deals with the same subject, but concentrating on the conflicts of our time, and it is written in a more readable style, not as academic as A Conflict of Visions.
The most readable of this list of my books is Basic Economics, which may also be the most needed, as suggested by its being translated into six foreign languages.
Black Rednecks and White Liberals challenges much that has been said and accepted, not only about blacks but about Jews, Germans, white Southerners and others.
Experience has probably changed more minds than books have. But some books can pull your experiences together and show how they require a very different vision of the world.
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