If you only read one thing this week…


The White Man’s Burden by William Easterly – reviews by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
March 20, 2008, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Book reviews, If you only have 15 mins

William Easterly’s book explores “Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good”  – Easterly is contributing to a long genre of literature that complains about the failings of development aid, and, unlike some, has some proposals for fixing it.

Critical of traditional aid efforts and charity, and with special vitriol for Jeffrey Sachs and The End of Poverty, Easterly’s thesis is that modern aid efforts are largely the descendants of colonial efforts to ‘civilize’ their native charges (hence the Kipling reference in the title). He draws out two types of development approaches – top down ‘planners’ and bottom up ‘searchers’. The approach he favors will come as no surprise, but his specifc remedies are controversial.
Monday Developments February 2008 issue carries a review by Nancy Birdsall (founding president of the Center for Global Development). Read the review here (unfortunately you’ll have to download the pdf of the entire issue, the review is on page 16, fortunately, it’s a good read). You can also read the Washington Post’s review of the book here, and order the book here.

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