Topic: Book Reviews

Book Review: The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease, by Charles Kenny

Charles Kenny is a wonderfully fluent and accessible writer. He’s also quick, judging by his latest book, The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease. Here’s how it opens: ‘The two leading killers worldwide at the start of the twenty-first century are heart attacks and strokes. That is evidence of humanity’s greatest […]

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Water Defenders v Big Gold – a real life David and Goliath story with a happy ending

Guest blog by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh, co-authors of The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed, which is published next week The debate over development, so vibrant in the 1960s and 1970s, is being reinvigorated around the world with the rise of self-proclaimed “water defenders.”  And, while largely off […]

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Philanthropy: a History. Kevin Watkins reviews a big new book

Guest post from Kevin Watkins Have you ever wondered what links Bono and Bill Gates to Moses, Socrates, Basil the Great, a 4th Century AD bishop in Asia Minor, and the ‘gilded age’ industrialist Andrew Carnegie? Me neither. But Paul Vallely’s magisterial book Philanthropyprovides the answer. Tracing the ties that bind contemporary philanthropists to the […]

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Power Switch: How We can Reverse Extreme Inequality. Book Review

Imagine you’ve written a mini-book (82 pages) setting out your thoughts on a progressive agenda, scheduled to come out in the first days of a Biden Administration. What could possibly go wrong? I can only imagine what my friend and political sparring partner Paul O’Brien was going through in the early hours of 4th November, […]

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Branko Milanovic is discussing his new book with me tomorrow (Friday). Here’s what we’ll be talking about

This repost from last year is a blatant promotional puff for tomorrow’s conversation with Branko Milanovic on his latest book, Capitalism Alone. You can watch it on YouTube here (Friday 13th, 4-6pm GMT). We’ll be on as part of the LSE’s ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice’ lecture series, which has moved to […]

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Book Review: How to Rig an Election, by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas

Thought I’d repost this book review from 2018 today. No particular reason…. A lot of the power of a successful book is in its ‘big idea’ – the overall frame that endures long after the detailed arguments have faded in the memory. On that basis, ‘How to Rig an Election’ looks set to do very […]

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Book Review: ‘Thinking and Working Politically in Development’

‘Thinking and Working Politically in Development’, by John Sidel and Jaime Faustino, is a new book on one of my favourite ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ programmes – Coalitions for Change (CfC) in the Philippines. It’s not the most user-friendly (no exec sum, no index), but at least it’s open access – download here. I’ve written […]

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How to be a Good Ancestor: Book Review

I owe Roman Krznaric – his brilliant 2008 paper How Change Happens, written as input to a long-forgotten Oxfam book called ‘From Poverty to Power’, got me thinking about change as a process, a thing in itself. Eight years later (my brain takes its time) I nicked his title for a book. In the intervening […]

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How has Corruption driven China’s Rise? Yuen Yuen Ang discusses her new book

I sat down (via Zoom) this week with one of the most interesting observers of China, Yuen Yuen Ang. Her ground-breaking new book, China’s Gilded Age (see my review here), discusses the links between corruption and China’s stellar rise – and the real history of corruption and capitalism. DG: China disproves everything we hear from […]

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China’s Gilded Age: a fantastic new book from Yuen Yuen Ang

A new book from Yuen Yuen Ang is always a cause for celebration. How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, is a brilliant application of systems thinking to the biggest development story of the last half century (review and podcast if you haven’t already digested it). Now she’s turned her attention to a massive conundrum and […]

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