From Publishers Weekly
Important, potentially transformative ideas are nearly lost in this noble but botched treatise by Khan, secretary general of Amnesty International. Describing poverty as the world's worst human rights crisis, the author refutes the view that economic growth alone can address the problem, arguing that corruption, disenfranchisement and other ills perpetuate poverty even as a country's GDP rises. Shifting her focus to the United Nations, she reveals how the organization's antiquated human rights and antipoverty approaches—still heavily influenced by cold war ideological battles—impede the causes they are intended to assist. Unfortunately, readers must wade through the book's tedious first half to reach these insights; Khan squanders space and her audience's patience reporting truisms like poor people often have inadequate shelter, that they lack food and often go to bed hungry and that war and genocide impoverish their victims. Not only do these unnecessary sections obscure Khan's very valuable messages, but they read more like a textbook than the work of a leading expert in her field. Photos. (Oct.)
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“Khan’s inquiry into poverty and human rights issues is scrupulously sourced with copious endnotes and statistics to back up every assertion, but it truly excels when Khan provides personal stories that hit harder than numbers.... In concise, well-ordered chapters, Khan brings massive social problems down to a manageable size. A significant and unflinching analysis of a terribly (and tragically) important area of study.” (Colleen Mondor - Booklist
“Kahn writes clearly and concisely, taking time to define what human rights are and why they matter and frequently illustrating her points with moving stories and vivid examples from around the world. She attempts to be impartial in her analysis and is critical not only of institutions like the World Bank but also of Amnesty International's own work in the past.... Well written and easily accessible, this is recommended for all human rights advocates, especially those interested in reducing poverty globally.” (Library Journal