What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

Updated 19 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Sorting Out the Mixed Economy by Amy C. Offner

In the years after 1945, a flood of US advisors swept into Latin America with dreams of building a new economic order and lifting the Third World out of poverty. 

These businessmen, economists, community workers, and architects went south with the gospel of the New Deal on their lips, but Latin American realities soon revealed unexpected possibilities within the New Deal itself, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

 In Colombia, Latin Americans and US advisors ended up decentralizing the state, privatizing public functions, and launching austere social welfare programs. By the 1960s, they had remade the country’s housing projects, river valleys, and universities. 

They had also generated new lessons for the US itself. When the Johnson administration launched the War on Poverty, US social movements, business associations, and government agencies all promised to repatriate the lessons of development, and they did so by multiplying the uses of austerity and for-profit contracting within their own welfare state.


What We Are Reading Today: Our Bodies, Their Battlefields by Christina Lamb

Updated 25 September 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Our Bodies, Their Battlefields by Christina Lamb

This is a searing account of women’s suffering during war time. 

Rape, Christina Lamb writes, is the “most neglected” war crime of the 1949 Geneva Convention. 

“The Rwandan conviction of Mayor Akaseyu, who himself was directly responsible for the rape and killing of Tutsis, is touted as the first war case where a high-profile person was punished along with rape charges,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“Going further, the tales of atrocities committed by Serbians against the Bosnian muslims shows how neighbors and acquaintances take part in crime against women without any remorse,” said the review.

It added: “There are also narratives of the Rohingya women at Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh who had suffered hardships in the hands of the Burmese military.”

The review said: “In the wake of the #MeToo movement, rape crimes have begun to be treated seriously, however the author contends that conviction of such crimes during war time is still very minimal and serious steps are needed to overcome this mindset.”

It added: “The topic of war is usually associated with nationalism, military powers and strategies, while its tragic consequences are only measured in terms of the number of live lost.”