What We Are Reading Today: Give and Take by Nitsan Chorev

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Updated 13 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Give and Take by Nitsan Chorev

Give and Take looks at local drug manufacturing in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, from the early 1980s to the present, to understand the impact of foreign aid on industrial development. 

While foreign aid has been attacked by critics as wasteful, counterproductive, or exploitative, Nitsan Chorev makes a clear case for the effectiveness of what she terms “developmental foreign aid.”

Against the backdrop of Africa’s pursuit of economic self-sufficiency, the battle against AIDS and malaria, and bitter negotiations over affordable drugs, Chorev offers an important corrective to popular views on foreign aid and development, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

She shows that when foreign aid has provided markets, monitoring, and mentoring, it has supported the emergence and upgrading of local production. 

Without losing sight of domestic political-economic conditions, historical legacies, and foreign aid’s own internal contradictions, Give and Take presents groundbreaking insights into the conditions under which foreign aid can be effective.


What We Are Reading Today: A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind

Updated 23 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind

A World Without Work is an excellent and timely piece of analysis by Daniel Susskind, who with his father Richard wrote the seminal The Future of the Professions (2015), which explored the impact of digital technologies on employment in the professions.

Anthony Seldon said in a review for newstatesman.com that Susskind “looks at past predictions with a skeptical eye, noting that many earlier warnings of widespread unemployment and disaster were proved wrong.” 

Seldon said Susskind “is far from convinced by a recent survey of leading computer scientists, which concluded there is a 50 per cent chance that new technology will outperform human beings at ‘every task’ within 45 years. Nor has he any truck with the hotheads preaching imminent disaster. He argues that many jobs existing today will not vanish completely and new ones will be established, including those we have not yet imagined.”

The book’s title “is either a threat or a promise, depending on your point of view,” critic Dorian Lynskey commented in a review for theguardian.com.