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A stunning personal narrative of best intentions gone awry, Michael Maren, at one time an aid worker and journalist in Somalia, writes of the failure of international charities, such as CARE and Save the Children, who he claims does anything but. Maren also attacks the United Nation's "humanitarian" missions are controlled by agribusinesses and infighting bureaucrats.
|Product dimensions:||0.72(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)|
Table of Contents
|On the Spelling of Somali Words||xiii|
|Introduction: Darkness and Light||1|
|2.||Far from Somalia||25|
|5.||Death in Mogadishu||79|
|6.||Crazy with Food||92|
|8.||Selling the Children||136|
|11.||Pigs at a Trough||189|
|12.||Feeding the Famine||203|
|13.||The Mogadishu Line||216|
|14.||The Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone||239|
|15.||Running Toward Rwanda||257|
|16.||Merchants of Peace||270|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are very few books that can claim to fundamentally change the way you see the world. This is one of them. It brutally exposes the hypocrisy, corruption and inefficiency that will destroy forever the reader's attitude about foreign aid and overseas charitable work. A reader who wants to retain his belief in the myth that foreign aid actually benefits the poor and the starving of the third world should NOT read this book. It will shatter your illusions forever. After reading about how aid to third world countries ends up perpetuating the very conditions it is supposed to eradicate, how it enriches the corrupt elites of those countries and helps them consolidate their often violently dictatorial rule, and how a surprisingly large proportion of it ends up in the pockets of those actually running the charities, it becomes clear that foreign aid and charity may be part of the problem instead of the solution.
This book will definitely challenge the way most of us view international aid organizations and domestic charities. Maren gives a thorough and straightforward history of international aid efforts and their true impact in the world. While much of the book is deservedly scathing of some organizations, Michael Maren handles the issue of charitable giving in a balanced and objective way. After reading The Road to Hell, it's impossible to view international aid in the same way. And that's a good thing. Americans, as a whole, could stand to leave their comfort zones (which include ignorance of international issues). I read this book, for the first time, almost a decade ago and since then I've encouraged countless others to read it as well. I highly recommend The Road to Hell for anyone who gives, of their time or money, to any charitable organizations.