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

by William Easterly


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From one of the world’s best-known development economists—an excoriating attack on the tragic hubris of the West’s 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 Man’s Burden is his widely anticipated counterpunch—a brilliant and blistering indictment of the West’s economic policies for the world’s 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143038825
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/27/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 285,118
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.95(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

William Easterly is a professor of economics at New York University and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. He was a senior research economist at the World Bank for more than sixteen years. In addition to his academic work, he has written widely in recent years for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, and Foreign Policy, among others. He is the author of the acclaimed book The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics. He has worked in many areas of the developing world, most extensively in Africa, Latin America, and Russia.

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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 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr.William Easterly convincingly decimates the falsehoods perpetrated by the so called aid-establisment.He enunciates the much more important role of knowledge(compared to money) in poverty-eradication and uses his erudition to demonstrate how ignorant the world really is about this hot-button issue.I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
`The White Man¿s Burden¿ speaks volumes about Dr.William Easterly¿s clear-eyed realism and his remarkable ability and courage to highlight the potential shortcomings of foreign aid. Dr.Easterly¿s book is immensely important and valuable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr.W.Easterly helps us scratch the surface and brings out the pitfalls in our understanding of the problems in the developing world.The panacea he suggests is based on rigorous research and hard facts,not fuzzy or incomplete information.'The White Man's Burden' is an *irrefutably* *indispensable* piece of work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book underscores the need for pragmatism in helping the poor and financially distressed.The author's remarks are very perceptive and his knowledge tremendous in the correct sense of the term.Extremely Impressive!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A practical approach to cure the menace of poverty Dr.Easterly's insights are truly thought provoking. Dr.Easterly has the rare skill to hit the nail on the head.A book that simply cannot be ignored.Please read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to one and all,especially the philanthropists who often put the cart before the horse in their attempt to help the financially-deprived.This is not just another book,this is a potential remedy to the ills of poverty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At the World Economic Forum in 2007, author William Easterly gave the audience some distressing news: The $2.3 trillion in aid sent to Africa since the 1950s had done nothing to increase Africa's GDP. It had been largely a waste of money. Bill Gates, who was sitting next to Easterly that day, admonished the author for focusing on narrowly economic benchmarks: 'You don't eat GDP,' Gates said petulantly. Easterly's riposte came a few days later in The Wall Street Journal, where he chided the world's richest college dropout for missing 'the economics class that listed the components of GDP, such as food.' Readers who enjoy such debates will love this acerbic, clearheaded book. Easterly, a former World Bank economist who is fervently committed to global prosperity, demolishes the myths that prop up ineffective efforts to help developing nations. He points his wrecking-ball at photo-op celebrities and utopian economists who feel that big plans and big aid budgets will eventually build big economies (the last 50 years of contrary evidence notwithstanding). Ah, you say, at least they are trying to do something good, while many others simply watch the impoverished world's agony in dismay. Instead, the author argues, only alternative, pinpointed aid tactics can succeed, but only if they use local knowledge and implementation. We recommend this to anyone interested in economic development and emerging markets, and to lovers of intelligent polemic on issues that matter.
jcvogan1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Argues that the aid world needs more 'Searchers' rather than 'Plannners.' There are a couple of chapters on colonialism and military intervention where he wanders beyond his expertise but overall a good book. A particularly passionate attack on AIDS treatment programs for not being the most cost-effective health programs out there.
fiadhiglas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book started out so strong that I was already thinking ahead to giving it 5 stars, and then he started talking about how free markets solve everything, and it went downhill from there. A lot of economists don't seem to understand human nature or human behavior at all. Which makes sense since their economic theories often contradict reality, yet they cling to the theories, insisting they are correct. ('Invisible hand', 'trickle-down' theory, etc.) Centralizing is only good for a few things, not most things. Most things work better when local conditions are understood and dealt with on the spot. It's not surprising, though, that rich people from somewhere else don't want to do the hard work that a local approach needs. Especially because to understand what would work, the rich people would have to stop talking, and start listening. And realize that the answers they want probably won't work (because they won't fit the locale and history and culture). Overall, this book was interesting, and I learned some stuff.
kathysmallwood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a big William Easterly fan and was very much impacted by The White Man's Burden. This book provides an understandable explanation as to why many foreign aid efforts fail while others succeed. His concepts provide insight for anyone interested in effective international humanitarian aid. Regardless of your view of Easterly, he represents one side of the international aid debate, with Jeffery Sachs (author of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals) on the other. There are definite hybrid lines of thinking that integrate theories from both Easterly and Sachs, but if you are looking to learn more about international humanitarian aid, these two guys are the place to start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yay. No one cares. >:,( post
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