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on 22 February 2008
I notice that the previous comment on the book Lords of Poverty points out the intensity of feeling of the Author. The reviewer suggests that it spoilt the book's message. Maybe, but writing about they way aid is used as a coercive tool and abused by recepient country governments makes one feel intensely about the abuse. I know. As I charted my way through 2000 years of the history of Sri Lanka and saw what 60 years of greed had done to it, it made me very angry and that intensity of feeling came out in the book. It is hard to be dispassionate. What is important is that the content is honest and true and the views expressed genuinely held. The author should not be marked down for showing his true feelings.
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on 19 May 2008
Truly a scathing expose of the world of International Development. Graham Hancock, who worked in Africa as a journalist at the time of the famine in Ethiopia, focuses on what he call Development Inc., the World Bank and the ever-gwoing conglomerate of UN organisations dedicated to "helping the poor". He shows how the taxpayer's money is funnelled back to large Western corporations through large-scale development schemes, and how African dictators help themselves unhindered to large dollops of aid money. He demonstrates how aid money is in fact a transfer from the poor of developed countries to the rich of developing countries, and ultimately to the rich of the of developed world, all in name of "helping the poor".

A very courageous effort that has conveniently been ignored by development experts. Although 20 years have passed since its publication, it is -unfortunately- still very relevant.
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on 4 June 2000
Graham Hancock wrote this book over ten years ago, and identifies the incompetence, corruption and lack of value for money in the official aid organisations such as UN and World Bank. With fully documented research he draws a picture of mind numbing negligence, bureaucratic ineptitude, nepotism and self-interest wherein billions of aid dollars are squandered without benefiting those the money is intended to help. Since writing this book, little if anything has changed. An outstanding piece that the establishment does not want the public to read!
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on 4 May 1999
A very enlightening book in which the author describes the inequity caused by the IMF, World Bank, governmental overseas aid agencies and some of the large Aid Organisation. It is a compelling read for anyone interested in sociology, political science or world affairs
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on 1 August 2003
I was drawn to this book by its subject of imperialism in the humanitarian relief industry. It is a subject that deserves a good, reasoned and creative exploration especially as so much money is channelled through the industry in the noble names of 'charity' and 'development'.
Hancock dramaticaly lays out his opinions from the start. In the acknowledgements he sarcastically and spitefully dedicates the book to "the bureucrats in the world bank" who tried to destroy his project by manipulatively dening him access to information. This may well have been true but such an angry start sadly set the tone for the remainder of the narrative which departed on repeated tangents as the author ranted about failed projects and corruption. Unfortunately alot of good ideas, experience and criticisms were shrouded by the unmistakable carthatic tones of personal bias. His argument would have been strengthened had he taken a more reasoned and even-handed approach.
On the whole I still found this book an interesting read and it opened my eyes to understanding some of the subtle ways that massive institutions such as the world bank can play such powerful and manipulative role in the development of 'third-world countries'. Hancock definately has a great point to make but it would have been a more profitable read had he tempered some of his cynacism with hope.
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on 5 October 2014
If you are a regular supporter of (or giver to) charities, or employed in the charity "industry", then this book you MUST read!, it is a sickening eye-opener to the corruption & greed of mankind.
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on 27 January 2011
i first read this book nearly 15 years ago and sadly it is still bang up-to-date because so little has changed. Hancock writes passionately, taking the line that poverty in developing countries is still rife because of exploitation and mismanagement within NGOs (non-governmental organisations - ie charities) and governmental bodies. He gives lots of examples and argues his point very well - especially when he points to countries that have done without foreign aid and seem to be managing well. It's a very good read and makes you think.
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on 18 January 2015
This is an amazing book - I wish the author had stayed on the trail of this as the problem is as big now as it ever was. It's often mistaken for applying to charities. It isn't. It's a revelation about what happens to taxpayers money that is diverted to international aid. It deserved to have had a bigger impact.
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on 4 October 2014
A very interesting read. It will make you think twice about non voluntary aid agencies, the IMF and the World Bank.
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on 23 November 2015
Excellent reportage. Some truly shocking content. Real food for thought.
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