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Customer Review

on March 16, 2006
There has been a series of books written in recent years critical of multilateral development institutions. Indeed, the World Bank deserves criticism on many accounts. However, there has been a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater in many recent books and Imerial Nature is emblematic of this trend. The book offers nothing new and has shallow analysis based on impromptu and selective interviews and second-hand accounts by activists. A far better book on this topic is Bill Easterley's "The Elusive Quest for Growth." It is indeed surprising that Yale University Press accepted this book for publication given its lack of empirical analysis. It appears to be an unfortunate attempt by the publisher to capitalize on the antiglobalization market which sells well. As a Yale alum who has followed the Agrarian Studies series of publications with admiration, I was particularly troubled by this book. James Scott, the editor of this series is a widely resspected scholar but this book does not fit well with the pantheon of other agrarian studies publications. The only redeeming feature of this book is its readability -- I hope the author will use his writing skills next time with better analysis rather than just a post-tenure flick.
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