This book details why capitalism has not worked in many countries outside the west and what can be done to remedy that. According to DeSoto, it basically comes down to property rights, understanding the constructs behind property, and developing systems for buying and selling property and entitling those that own it.
the book is extremely compelling — though its 228 pages could probably be distilled to 22 pages in a succinct essay. Even with that, the book is a fast read and essential to understanding the financial conditions of the third world.
Summation: read this book.