Topic: Book Reviews

Book Review: Nanjala Nyabola, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya

Most of the stuff written about online activism is primarily based in the North (eg New Power, which I reviewed recently). So I was v excited to find a book written by a Kenyan (Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi) about how New Power applies to […]

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Book Review:  Getting to Zero – A Doctor and a Diplomat on the Ebola Frontline

Guest post by Melissa Parker (left) and Johanna Hanefeld  This excellent book provides a fascinating account of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. It is co-authored by Sinead Walsh, who was Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone at the time of the outbreak and, Oliver Johnson, a medical doctor, who was based at Connaught Hospital in […]

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Book Review: A Savage Order, by Rachel Kleinfeld

Rachel Kleinfeld is speaking in London tomorrow (Thursday 17th January) from 17.30-19.00. Book here In A Savage Order, Rachel Kleinfeld casts an unflinching eye on the many ways in which human beings physically hurt each other at a societal level. Not just war, but the much more ubiquitous everyday violence that springs from political and […]

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Book Review: New Power: How it’s Changing the 21st Century and Why you need to Know

Here’s my recommendation for a last minute panic Christmas pressie for your activist friends. You’re welcome As befits a grumpy old technophobe, I have long been sceptical of the hype around online activism. I’ve cited Malcolm Gladwell’s bah humbug piece on the Arab Spring ‘why the revolution will not be tweeted’ as pretty much summing […]

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Who wants to be a Volunteer? Book Review

An estimated 10 million people will head from North to South this year as volunteers, seeking a mix of adventure, altruism and self improvement. Volunteering is big (a $2bn industry), but is it beautiful? Learning Service: The Essential Guide to Volunteering Abroad, a 350 page tome aimed at informing and guiding would-be volunteers, left me […]

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Book Review: Peter Frase, Four Futures: Life After Capitalism

I’ve never been a big fan of scenario planning. When I’ve done it in the past, it’s usually involved a bunch of former oil and gas planners asking a group of people to identify big trends (which often boil down to what they’ve read in the FT/Economist that week) and then processing them into a […]

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Don’t worry. Be factful: Review of Factfulness, by Hans and Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Matthew Spencer reviews Hans Rosling’s posthumous manifesto When Hans Rosling, the TED talk phenomenon and professor of international health, was a young doctor in Mozambique in the 1980’s he was berated by a visiting friend and medic for not providing better care for a seriously ill child that been brought into his health clinic. Hans […]

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Book Review: How to be a Craftivist: the art of Gentle Protest, by Sarah Corbett

I spent an idyllic bank holiday recently in a hammock reading How to be a Craftivist: the art of gentle protest. Seemed fitting somehow, as the book is all about ‘slow activism’. Corbett, an award-winning campaigner and lifelong activist whose leftie parents dragged her along on demos from the age of 3, starts with a […]

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Book Review: Why We Lie About Aid by Pablo Yanguas

Guest post by Tom Kirk, of the LSE’s Centre for Public Authority in International Development Every so often you read something that brilliantly articulates an idea or issue you have been struggling with for a while, but could not properly capture. Why We Lie About Aid is one of those books. Full of pithy quotes, […]

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Book Review: Can Intervention Work? Rory Stewart and Gerald Knaus

We’ve had some great speakers at the LSE this year, but Rory Stewart was top of the pops, according to the students’ evaluations. He rocked up at LSE, despite having just been reshuffled to Minister for Prisons, spoke without notes, and blew everyone away. Alas, he insisted on it being off the record, so I […]

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Book Review: Aids Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations, by Ethan B Kapstein and Joshua W Busby

Thanks to Chris Roche for sending me back to re-read this wonderful case study of how activists can change markets (here’s a free pdf of the first chapter). Kapstein and Busby painstakingly researched the rise, tactics and successes/failures of the global advocacy campaign around access to medicines for HIV/AIDS. Their (hugely ambitious) aim is not […]

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Book Review: ‘I’ve got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle’ Charles M Payne

I’ve given my kids a lot of improving books over the years, and now they’re exacting revenge. Parental devotion means I read anything they give me, which at least gets me out of the aid and development ghetto. My Christmas present this year from son Calum was Charles Payne’s wonderful book on the US civil […]

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