It's hard to come up with anything to say about Nina Munk's magnificent new book that hasn't already been said. The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty takes as its task trying to understand Sachs and his Millennium Villages Project (MVP). Munk, who had a high level of access to Sachs and his staff for about six years, details the MVP as the realities of development, culture, and community preferences slam up against Sachs' expertise and view that the solutions to global poverty are primarily technical.
Others have written about how Munk beautifully portrays Sachs' hubris in the face of overwhelming evidence that some of his ideas are not working, pushback from experts and local leaders, and signals of distress from MVP field staff. This will no doubt be very satisfactory ... [view whole blog post ]