Max's Reviews > The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good

The White Man's Burden by William Easterly
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Nov 30, 07

Read in November, 2007

I would have to say that The White Man's Burden is the best book I've read on development so far and I would recommend that anyone interested in development should read it. That being said, the one problem with the book is that it does not really stand alone as a study of a development. It's strength lies in the thorough, thoughtful, and intelligent critique of current development policy and theory. I would perhaps recommend reading Jeffrey Sachs' The End of Poverty as an introduction before reading Easterly, since the White Man's Burden is basically a long response to Sachs' arguments. That being said, this book is probably the most intelligent and best researched piece on development that I've read. Easterly writes authoritatively, he argues convincingly (but still manages to maintain an academic detachment), and the book is intelligent and witty. This book encouraged a major shift in my thinking on development work and career paths and I would recommend it enthusiastically to anyone interested at all in the subject.
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Anna You are going to berate me for this, but Jeffrey Sachs is not a good introduction to development. It's more of a sociological explanation of things. And it's very personal, like a memoir, not a good historical study. He is all fluff and no substance.

For hardcore development, I would recommend William Easterly's "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics." You would LOVE it Max. Put it on your list.



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