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The White Man's Burden : Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good - Principal Economist William Easterly

The White Man's Burden

Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good

Paperback Published: 27th February 2007
ISBN: 9780143038825
Number Of Pages: 436
For Ages: 18+ years old

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From one of the worldas best-known development economistsaan excoriating attack on the tragic hubris of the Westas efforts to improve the lot of the so-called developing world

In his previous book, "The Elusive Quest for Growth," William Easterly criticized the utter ineffectiveness of Western organizations to mitigate global poverty, and he was promptly fired by his then-employer, the World Bank. "The White Manas Burden" is his widely anticipated counterpunchaa brilliant and blistering indictment of the Westas economic policies for the worldas poor. Sometimes angry, sometimes irreverent, but always clear-eyed and rigorous, Easterly argues that we in the West need to face our own history of ineptitude and draw the proper conclusions, especially at a time when the question of our ability to transplant Western institutions has become one of the most pressing issues we face.

Industry Reviews

"Brilliant at diagnosing the failings of Western intervention in the Third World." -BusinessWeek

a must-read on international aid, but read it critically


The author admits he doesn't have answers to the big question about how to get aid to the poor more effectively, but then puts out some ideas. He proposes a distinction between Planners and Searchers and tries to support an argument that Planners, who work from the top down, all too often fail and Searchers, who work on the ground, should be empowered more to find local solutions. Trouble is, he talks like a Planner and draws immense amounts of information from his extensive experience working for the World Bank (who are of course Planners). He shows again and again how top-down approaches fail, and occasionally how on-the-ground approaches succeed, but his examples don't always make a coherent argument. For example, the global elimination of smallpox is touted as a great success, but surely that started as a 'utopian' idea from the Planners. His message of foreign aid needing to be more transparent and accountable and the poor needing to have more say, is definitely supported, but the devil, as they say, is in the detail. Overall, essential reading for anyone who wants to understand international aid better.

Adelaide, South Australia


The White Man's Burden

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ISBN: 9780143038825
ISBN-10: 0143038826
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 436
Published: 27th February 2007
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.3 x 14.1  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Type: Annotated

Earn 61 Qantas Points
on this Book