We have been in negotiations with a publishing house, Hunan Science and Technology Press, for the Chinese translation of Why Nations Fail. Perhaps not surprisingly, they said many parts of the book could not be published. More surprising was that this not only included our discussion of extractive institutions in China, but also: Gary Becker’s praise for the book, our discussion of South and North Korea, our discussion of the current state of North Korea, our discussion of Uzbekistan as well as any mention of China in the book.
After negotiations, we were able to save much of this material, but not our discussion of Chinese economic growth and institutions, which were deemed to be unacceptable by “higher authorities”.
After much hesitation, we decided to go ahead with this censored version rather than refuse publication entirely.
We are now hoping that they will accept to print at the beginning of the book that this is a censored version of the book and direct Chinese readers to this website for further information.
For interested readers, we would also like to point to the Taiwanese edition of our book, which could be found here.