Books & Media Reviews

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

Monetization of Food Aid: Reconsidering U.S. Policy and Practice

by Emmy Simmons December 30, 2010

“Monetization” is one of the more misunderstood and increasingly controversial forms of US food assistance abroad. It has rarely been reviewed by an independent entity. In June 2009, the DC-based non-profit, the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, published an important, 56-page rep...

Reviewed By: Steven Hansch

Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira Vieira de Mello and the fight to save the world

by Samantha Power October 30, 2010

Sergio Vieira de Mello was singular in the humanitarian aid world for being at the same time more handsome, well-spoken, charming, and accomplished than any of his contemporaries. He was also intrepid, swooshing in ahead of others in his own emergency agency into post-conflict war zones....

Reviewed By: Steven Hansch

Economics for Everyone: A short guide to the economics of capitalism

by Jim Stanford August 30, 2010

The world in which we live is very complicated. As human beings, and, as citizens and people of faith to name just two important roles, we have to understand this if we are going to make human decisions that will advance the well-being and security of the people of the world. Economic relations--co...

Reviewed By: Lane Vanderslice

Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

by Lester Brown Hunger Notes April 30, 2010

Updating and expanding on his earlier Plan B and Plan B 2.0, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, is Lester Brown’s most urgent call yet for a rapid and all-out restructuring of the world’s economy. Economist and president of Earth Policy Institute, Brown builds an excellent case for th...

Reviewed By: Kristin Saucier

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

by Paul Collier Hunger Notes December 30, 2009

Published on the heels of Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty and William Easterly’s White Man’s Burden, Paul Collier presents another, more balanced, view of the causes of and solutions to poverty in his book, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can be Done About ...

Reviewed By: Kristin Saucier

The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism

by Naomi Klein Focus on the Global South November 30, 2009

Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism is very impressive indeed. This is, however, not immediately evident, a sense that is confirmed by Joseph Stiglitz’ review of the book. Even before I read it, I was certain that the Nobel laureate would highlight Klein’s attempt...

Reviewed By: Walden Bello

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

by Barbara Ehrenreich Hunger Notes October 30, 2009

What can you do when you’ve got no job? Barbara Ehrenreich answers this question in detail in Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. She tells us how searching for employment is a job in itself, requiring as much time and energy as having a job, but without the compensation ...

Reviewed By: Paula Smith-Vanderslice

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

by Jeffrey Sachs Hunger Notes August 15, 2009

This book is an interesting and worthwhile discussion of how to help the world's poorest people. It combines an intellectual history of Sachs and how he came to understand key development factors, an introduction to economic development issues, an explanation of why the poorest people and countries...

Reviewed By: Lane Vanderslice