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Lifeblood: How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time Hardcover – September 6, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This little gem of a book ... has an important story to tell, and Perry tells it with precision and gusto. As dramatic as anything you will read in fiction." - The New York Times

"In Lifeblood, Alex Perry shows a reporter's eye and a writer's art to chart a revolution not just in the fight against malaria but in the global provision of aid. Anybody interested in how the world can realistically be made a better place should read this fantastic book." Tim Butcher, author of Blood River and Chasing the Devil 

"With this book, Alex Perry confirms his reputation as one of the finest journalists working in Africa today. Lifeblood is intrepid, engaging, incisive, and immensely readable." Mark Gevisser, author of Thabo Mbeki: A Dream Deferred  

"A hugely compelling account of one of the epic public health battles of our time. Brightly illuminated by startling details ... refreshingly free of the clichés that mar so much writing by Europeans about Africa." Alec Russell, Financial Times, author of Bring Me My Machine Gun

"A sweeping epic of a book. With graphic and chilling detail, Alex Perry shows us both the horrors of this lethal disease and that it can be beaten. Imperative reading for anyone involved in health or international development." Humphrey Hawksley, BBC Foreign Correspondent, author of Democracy Kills

The New York Times, August 20, 2011
“[a] gem of a book…it has an important story to tell, and Mr. Perry tells it with precision and gusto.”

Nature Magazine
“Journalist Alex Perry chronicles two years of US philanthropist Ray Chambers’s crusade against malaria. A mix of science, history and research, this is a fascinating take on a disease that kills a million people a year. Chambers’s story is just as intriguing. Pragmatism, business sense and bullheadedness gave him an advantage over the formulaic and often cost-ineffective approaches of many aid agencies. His Wall Street clout helped him to bring world leaders on board. And his focus on solutions such as bed nets and poverty eradication has, says Perry, enabled him to save millions of lives.”
Spectator, October 15, 2011
“A book about a campaign to rid the world of malaria may not sound like a riveting read and Lifeblood is an unlikely page-turner. But you are soon caught up in the challenges of the campaign and, along the way, you learn a great deal about the labyrinthine world of aid, Africa, business and politics.”

About the Author

Alex Perry is Time’s Africa bureau chief, based in Cape Town. He is the author of Falling Off the Edge: Globalization, World Peace and Other Lies (2009).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610390865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610390866
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,683,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a little taken aback to be the first reviewer to weigh in on Alex Perry's excellent book a full three months after its hardcover publication, but I'm honored nevertheless. Perry's book follows successful businessman Ray Chambers (he's the 'ray' in Wesray - together with ex-Treasury Secretary, William E. Simon, they were pioneers in the private equity field) in his role as United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Malaria. The co-founder of the NGO Malaria No More ('MNM'), Perry details Chambers' "ideas of enlightened self-interest" brought to bear on a problem of global - and seemingly insurmountable - scale.

The story Perry relates is of MNM's efforts to end malaria deaths by 2015. To do so, the group sets an aggressive goal to finance and distribute hundreds of millions of bednets by the end of 2010. Chambers and malaria are a good match. By all accounts, malaria is not a medical problem, it's a logistics problem. By spraying insecticides and blanketing malarial districts in bednets, experts know that they can interrupt the cycle of the disease. Applied assiduously, the effects can be immediate and dramatic.

What better agent than Ray Chambers to get this done? Chambers believed that "[I]nequality was unintelligent. Poverty didn't just hurt the poor. It hurt everyone." Others reached the same conclusion. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - seen in these pages often intersecting with Chambers and team - come from the same viewpoint. But the surprise of the story is that so do corporate actors like ExxonMobil and AngloGold Ashanti.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jonny Steinberg lookout, Alex Perry is coming for your title as the continent's pre-eminent literary journalist!

A thrilling and deeply encouraging success story about the African continent
Beautifully written making this story of how the continent is eliminating malaria a fast-paced easy read.
Should be compulsory reading for anyone working in Public Health today!
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