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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2009
A readable account of the ins and outs of aid and trade in sub-saharan Africa by someone who has worked in the field but has now stepped aside to give a non-partisan view.The book looks at the efforts of Charities,Government and International Organisations in the aid field and how these efforts are dwarfed by the inequities of trade arrangements.The impact of aid and trade on people in Africa is highlighted with examples drawn from the author's on the ground experiences.The book asks what you would do if you were in power in an imaginary african state outlining the demands on your budget and the unreliability of your income sources.The book brings home the failure of the wealthy nations of the world to deliver on their promises and the need to keep the pressure on Governments to deliver for the poorest and the weakest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2010
But it gets a little repetitive towards the end of the book once the real meat of the issues have been tackled and the author sets about a "call to arms".
This book is as much about globalisation and international trade agreements, and how they effect developing countries, as it is about direct aid. As a result this book ties in very nicely with "Globalization and Its Discontents" by Joseph Stiglitz. Indeed many of the issues raised are similar if not identical. Most interestingly both authors have experience working from opposite ends of the aid/finance spectrum and yet come to the same conclusions.
All in all a friendly chatty style that moves along at a decent pace. A recommended read.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2008
This is a compelling read enabling people outside of the fields of Aid and Development to challenge their own thinking about charity and where the feel-good money goes.

The book is written with a good balance of facts and figures interspersed with personal anecdotes that lighten the mood whilst still driving home the practicalities of living in Africa.

I believe this book was aimed at people like me, who have a slight, but apathetic concern about the effects of the mismanagement of globalisation, of domestic subsidies and who are happy to assuage the conscience with a donation to any charity that offers up suitable images of people in crisis believing that they have made a contribution.

Its easy to read, but not easy to forget.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2008
I have never bothered to write an amazon review before, but have just finished reading this book and it's great, I thoroughly recommend it. It is amazingly readable, has some scary statistics about how we are wasting money every time we buy sugar with sensible, practical tips on small steps individuals can take to do something about it. I love the stories of the author's own experience in Africa. I love the way the facts are excellently researched and presented from a balanced point of view, and I have folded over at least 15 pages where there is something so interesting I want to be able to find it again to tell people.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2007
I found this book to be a well researched look at the impact of globalisation and its links with global poverty.It provides no easy answers and avoids simplistic conclusions such as that "all corporations are evil". I found it easy to read and informative, and it has greatly improved my understanding of the world econmy and its winners and losers. Most of all, it suggests it would be relatively easy to to change the balance, if enough people acted.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2009
This book should be essential reading for anyone who wonders why Africa still needs loads of Aid, even after Bob Geldof and all the charity appeals there have ever been. Basically it comes down to our governments and their greedy, defensive ways and this book lays it out in easily understandable ways for you, the reader. The best thing is when he gets through to the end of the book he tells you what you can do to exercise your rights to try to influence your governement to do more for them. The standout sections for me were the ones on agricultural subsidies that i knew nothing about. It turns out that the UK governement subsidises farmers to grow stuff that doesnt suit our climate and then charges you and i more at the checkout to cover these subsidies!! That the US cotton industry gets subsidised for more than the cotton crop is actually WORTH make sobering reading for anyone.
These are just the tip of the iceberg though, as there are so many jaw-dropping facts and stories in this book you really should read it.
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on 10 June 2015
This is a brilliant book. Absolutely spot on. I recently completed an MBA in Humanitarian Development and needless to say churned through a lot of the current literature around these issues. Giles Bolton's book; Aid and Other Dirty Business was by far the best. To be honest, I learnt more from reading this book than I did in my entire MBA. I just wish someone had handed me this book sooner as I spent two years trying to get a grasp on these exact issues with mixed success. I hope for future students sake he considers teaching once his days in the field are up.
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on 28 June 2014
I just couldn't get into this book, I simply never found myself absorbed by it and in the end gave up roughly half way through. My mind would constantly daydream off every time I tried to read it, which is generally a sign that it's not a book for me.
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on 24 February 2015
Great book, easy to read, and while it may repeat itself a little sometimes, it depicts a very clear image of the issues in today's world, and how it arrived to this point
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on 23 December 2013
This item was delivered in good condition and within the agreed time frame - would recommend to others in the future. An interesting read
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