Books & Media Reviews

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

by Katherine Boo Washington Post February 10, 2012

This is an astonishing book.eye view of the “undercity” of one of the world’s largest metropolises; as an intensely reported, deeply felt account of the lives, hopes and fears of people traditionally excluded from literate narratives; as a story that truly hasn’t been told before, at least n...

Reviewed By: Shashi Tharoor

World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development

by World Bank Woods Project February 8, 2012

The 2012 World Development Report (WDR) is a watershed moment: it is the first time that the World Bank, the world’s largest and most influential development institution, has devoted its flagship publication to gender. Kate Bedford of the University of Kent argues that the report leaves the Bank f...

Reviewed By: Kate Bedford Bretton

Earth Grab: Geopiracy, the New Biomassters, and Capturing Climate Genes

by Diana Bronson, Hope Shand, Jim Thomas, Kathy Jo Wetter World Hunger Education Service January 11, 2012

January 11, 2012 Human induced climate change is rapidly becoming an environmental crisis unprecedented in scope. As the crisis takes hold, with examples such as increasingly unpredictable and destructive weather patterns, unrestrained deforestation, the disappearance of arctic ice, risi...

Reviewed By: Michael Abouzelof

The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions Are Changing World Politics

by Kathryn Sikkink Washington Post December 30, 2011

What is the impact of putting former national leaders on trial for massive violations of human rights? Surely, most who are aware of the crimes, and certainly the surviving victims, find value in the trials and convictions of murderous leaders and their associates. On the other hand, there are cases...

Reviewed By: Micheline Ishay

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

by Steven Pinker Washington Post November 30, 2011

Appearances often deceive. Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature” landed on my desk in the immediate aftermath of that terrible massacre in Norway. As I read the book, Syrian forces slaughtered pro-democracy protesters, riots engulfed English cities, and murders punctuated the news....

Reviewed By: Gerard Degroot

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

by Jason K. Stearns Washington Post October 30, 2011

Most books about Congo’s war focus, understandably, on the victims. Perhaps 5 million have died in this central African inferno, though that is a guess — no one is counting the corpses. Some were murdered with clubs, knives or farm tools. Most died more slowly, of war-induced hunger and disease....

Reviewed By: Robert Guest

UNWARRANTED INFLUENCE Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex

by James Ledbetter Washington Post September 30, 2011

The history of the Victorian age, wrote Lytton Strachey, can never be written: We know too much about it. The wise historian ought rather to examine specimen...

Reviewed By: Josiah Bunting III

PROPHETS OF WAR Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex

by William D. Hartung Washington Post September 1, 2011

The history of the Victorian age, wrote Lytton Strachey, can never be written: We know...

Reviewed By: Josiah Bunting III

We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People

by Peter Van Buren Washington Post August 30, 2011

Keep the lights on? How can it be that in 2011, blackouts are still part of daily life, drinking water remains a luxury, and only about a quarter of the population has sewage? If reliable utilities are fundamental to both the grand goal of nation-building and the narrower mandate of counterinsurgenc...

Reviewed By: Marisa Bellack

Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

by Mara Hvistendahl Washington Post July 1, 2011

Earlier versions of this book review incorrectly said that the United States has the highest homicide rate in the world. In her book, Mara Hvistendahl describes the United States as the most violent industrialized nation in the world. This version has been corrected....

Reviewed By: Elaine Showalter

  • World Hunger Education
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  • For the past 40 years, since its founding in 1976, the mission of World Hunger Education Service is to undertake programs, including Hunger Notes, that
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