Jane Jacobs’s most recent book is The Nature of Economies. Her essay in this issue is the introduction to the Modern Library edition of Hard Times, which is being published later this month. (July 2001)

Why TVA Failed

The conventional prescription for poor and backward nations or regions is “industrial development.” This seems a logical remedy for their plight since any economy that lacks industry must either go without manufactured goods or else, to an absurd degree, import almost everything its people require, paying with one or a …