Excitedly, I bought this book - with no background in this field - willing to learn about 'why aid makes things worse and how there is another way for Africa'. I was impressed by Moyo's credentials and by the praise from Kofi Annan on the back cover (I subtly missed praise from the Daily Mail on the front cover). What I discovered was an intriguing, insightful and to all intents and purposes, a well-researched thesis (in response to other reviews on amazon) with interesting facts (e.g. there's direct correlation between the level of corruption and a country's GDP).... this is where my praise for this book ends.
I felt that Moyo used the most insidious form of manipulation by presenting only the facts which support her theory, conveniently omitting or playing down information inconsistent with her argument (e.g. Botswana). As a scientist, I want to see all the facts laid out on the table and hear a well informed thesis; this is not the case with Dead Aid. In addition, the concept and solution is dragged out over 150 pages where 50 would have sufficed: it is an essay at best. Moyo does not confront what I feel is the principal problem with African aid mismanagement (and is a central part of her argument): corruption, until a third of the way through the book. Finally, her arguments are not structured clearly, there is a degree of contradiction and too much financial jargon for the lay-person.
Overall, the subject and argument are interesting and I did learn about another way for Africa, even though personally I feel a little dubious about Moyo's proposed 'other way' and I felt more manipulated than persuaded.