Book Reviews of Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business

Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business
Lords of Poverty The Power Prestige and Corruption of the International Aid Business
Author: Graham Hancock
ISBN-13: 9780871134691
ISBN-10: 0871134691
Publication Date: 1/10/1994
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2

3.8 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business on + 7 more book reviews
It is very interesting and true. Did not realize the depth of the problems until I went to Africa.
reviewed Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business on + 74 more book reviews
An incredibly disturbing book. Hancock, a journalist with extensive international experience, argues that Western-style aid programs are largely not just ineffective but harmful. Hancock details an American company who gets a hefty tax write-off for supplying Africans with faulty pacemakers. He documents direct misuse of foreign aid and gets supporting testimony from quite a few disillusioned aid workers.
Hancock isn't a muckraker who believes the system is good, but just needs to throw out a few bad apples. He wants to shake it all down.
There is also a personal undercurrent--and it is also valid--the resentment of high-paid and mostly unqualified foreign aid workers who reap rewards of 5-star hotel travel, expense accounts and a lot of exotic sex.
I found Hancock's slash-and-burn approach too draconian...and I suspect that maybe deep down he does as well. His criticisms and those like his have in the past years caused significant reforms in international aid. There are now newer programs that do fantastic things...and yes, some of your relief donations will still go toward expensive wine at the Ramada hotel restaurant and there are still insufferable and sanctimonious twits among the foreign aid workers, just like there are nasty kindergarten teachers and cretin journalists. Perhaps Hancock is one of them--I don't care--he wrote one heck of a book.