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5.0 out of 5 stars Profound insights on violence and the poor … all in one volume, January 21, 2014
This review is from: The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence (Hardcover)
"The Locust Effect" articulates the missing link in the international vision to eradicate extreme global poverty. The missing link: effectively reducing the lawless violence that the poor face daily. It rips apart the lives of the impoverished and lays waste to all other anti-poverty efforts. Authors Gary Haugen and VIctor Boutros bring decades of first-hand experience walking alongside vulnerable peoples to this groundbreaking book on justice. They have repeatedly witnessed the gut-wrenching failures of law enforcement and courtrooms to protect and to represent our neediest global citizens.

"The Locust Effect" meets its goal to build a rigorous case that the elimination of everyday violence is now the most critical factor in the battle against poverty. The book effectively demonstrates how such common violence robs impoverished families of the ability to use the new schools, new medical clinics, and the new water wells. Access to these resources is essentially denied when violent perpetrators roam unhindered to rape, beat, and rob vulnerable members of the community.

Stories of real people in real crises open the book. We learn their names and their situations. Their brave willingness to share their stories allows the authors to put faces on the atrocities the poor face daily. Their stories re-surface throughout the book, along with new victims and new heroes in the fight against violence. But "The Locust Effect" is also full of hard facts.

Statistics and studies fill the middle chapters. Like stats? You will overdose here! Don't like stats: skim the middle chapters but pause to absorb the stories and summaries. Ultimately, the abundance of references makes this book an invaluable resource for anyone studying or advocating on issues of global poverty. For the first time ever, titles and locations of academic journal articles, United Nations documents, World Bank reports, non-government organizations’ research, and personal interviews related to justice issues are all collated in one place. The bibliography and endnotes alone fill 40-plus pages in the volume.

"The Locust Effect" concludes with hope. The authors detail examples of reformed justice systems in modern-day cities as well as nations. It can be done! These final chapters take the “vastness” argument off the table -- that the problem is so huge and so complex and so risky that we cannot address it.

Haugen and Boutros reduce the enormity of the justice system brokenness into manageable, addressable pieces. They even suggest areas of research that are missing and needed to help move this conversation forward. In short time, "The Locust Effect" will soon come to serve the invaluable role of conversation-starter with common language and baselines.

Without reservation, I recommend "The Locust Effect". My shelves hold numerous works that address global poverty. None, however, address this missing piece in the struggle against poverty. Through The Locust Effect, I came to appreciate that the plague of everyday violence is the missing link toward the goal of eradicating extreme poverty worldwide. This volume will truly become one of the go-to resources for all who seek to crush global poverty!!

Posted by Sharon R. Hoover
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