Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Janet Jackson All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Amazon Gift Card Offer gdwf gdwf gdwf  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now Halloween
Falling Behind and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States 1st Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195368826
ISBN-10: 0195368827
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Buy new
More Buying Choices
19 New from $5.99 25 Used from $0.74

"Courage to Act" by Ben S. Bernanke
Rich with detail of the decision-making process in Washington and indelible portraits of the major players, "The Courage to Act" recounts and explains the worst financial crisis and economic slump in America since the Great Depression, providing an insider’s account of the policy response. See more
$33.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States
  • +
  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
  • +
  • Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
Total price: $72.33
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fukuyama (The End of History) has compiled essays which collectively dispel the myth that "vast cultural difference or the consequences of U.S. domination" are solely responsible for the economic disparity between North and South America. In 1700, North and South America had similar per capita income; today, per capita income in Latin America is 20 percent of U.S. figures and more than one-third of the population lives in poverty, a wealth disparity that many authors finger as leading to frequent political turmoil and a weakened rule of law. Most of the essays pit the "Washington Consensus"-the 1990s effort to globalize-against the region's pesky penchant for electing populists, notably Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Famous for his contention that civilization is moving inexorably toward capitalist liberal democracy, Fukuyama comes nowhere close to making such broad claims about Latin America's evolution here. He dismisses recent comprehensive explanations that take into account geography and technology, but this uneven collection adds little to the argument that Latin America's economic status the exception to the rule, rather than the United States'.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"This volume constitutes one of the most thorough and lucid attempts to answer the fundamental question of why Latin America has become the West's least developed region. It's a must-read for both policymakers and scholars. Bravo and thanks to the authors."--Ernesto Zedillo, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and former President of Mexico

"This indispensable book ends the debate over why we Latinos are not rich Americans: It's not our culture, religion, intellects, or even the U.S. that keep us behind. It's our defective institutions. So let reform begin. Thanks to Fukuyama and his distinguished colleagues, governments have no more excuses to avoid legal change."--Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

"It is a measure of this book's seriousness that there are no easy recipes in it. Falling Behind makes a valuable contribution to the debate about Latin America."--The Times Literary Supplement

"Provides valuable insights into how both formal and informal institutions have shaped economic and political outcomes in Latin America...this book should be a valuable and timely addition to upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses dealing with the economic challenges facing Latin American and Caribbean countries."--Eastern Economic Journal

"A set of historical essays help us to understand that the development gap with the United States emerged in the first two thirds of the nineteenth century as Latin American societies struggled to form coherent nation-states following independence from Spain and Portugal. ... Francis Fukuyama examines the importance of institutions." --Political Science Quarterly

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195368827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195368826
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,556,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), resident in FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

Dr. Fukuyama has written widely on issues relating to questions concerning democratization and international political economy. His book, The End of History and the Last Man, was published by Free Press in 1992 and has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. His most recent books are America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy, and Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap between Latin America and the United States. His latest book, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution will be published in April 2011.

Francis Fukuyama received his B.A. from Cornell University in classics, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Science. He was a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation from 1979-1980, then again from 1983-89, and from 1995-96. In 1981-82 and in 1989 he was a member of the Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State, the first time as a regular member specializing in Middle East affairs, and then as Deputy Director for European political-military affairs. In 1981-82 he was also a member of the US delegation to the Egyptian-Israeli talks on Palestinian autonomy. From 1996-2000 he was Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University, and from 2001-2010 he was Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He served as a member of the President's Council on Bioethics from 2001-2004.

Dr. Fukuyama is chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest, which he helped to found in 2005. He holds honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, Doane College, Doshisha University (Japan), and Kansai University (Japan). He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rand Corporation, the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy, and member of the advisory boards for the Journal of Democracy, the Inter-American Dialogue, and The New America Foundation. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Pacific Council for International Affairs. He is married to Laura Holmgren and has three children.

March 2011

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Falling Behind contains nine excellent essays exploring different aspects of why Latin America and the United States have different income levels. The key points in those nine essays are nicely summarized in Francis Fukuyama's conclusion, the tenth essay. The authors were well chosen to reflect both Latin American and U.S. perspectives.

I found that some of the arguments were more persuasive than others, especially the time series work that showed much of the loss of relative economic performance occurring during the time when Latin American countries were establishing their governments. That evidence seemed to be the smoking gun that shows that economic development requires stable, effective government.

Of equal interest were the investigations of the factors that don't seem to explain the differences, including religious culture, tropical climate, and disease.

The book is short on prescriptions. But Latin America seems likely to profit from improved government policies for economic development, better educational results, more inclusive two-party politics in democracies, improving security of property rights, making entrepreneurship easier, and avoiding regime changes.

Historical data make it hard to test everything, but I did wonder if geography might not have played a bigger role in falling behind the United States than this book suggests. A lot of the economic development of the U.S. in the early industrial revolution depended on having lots of cotton growing and the raw materials to make steel-based goods that could be inexpensively shipped across the North Atlantic to Europe. Latin America mostly lacked those same resources and access to the European markets at the same time.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By charles on July 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jose C. Lopez on August 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Great writter amazing book,
You go thru this book as he was talking to you.
I have read most of his books and he always keeps amazing me,amazing knowleadge, great writter.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States
This item: Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States
Price: $33.95
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: economy, political science, economic growth