Just past the midpoint of the United Nations Decade of Development (which began in 1960), here is a discursive description of the efforts of the U.N. and its agencies to raise living standards in the underdeveloped nations. The author discusses the implications and specifics of poverty--what it's like to live on $100 a year--and then slides into examples of improvements in farming methods, in community development, in education, in marketing procedures, in conservation of natural resources. The immensity of the problems is illustrated in accounts of fighting locusts in the Rajasthan Desert and eradicating malaria in Borneo; the efforts to train people to manage their own affairs are demonstrated by programs among Andean Indians and Sudanese shell farmers. Mr. Joyce talks as if he were on the lecture platform in the sense of advocating, illustrating and interrelating in a rather informal fashion. He wants to enlist the sympathies and energies of young people, which is perhaps just as well since, in the words of a U.N. official in the foreword, ""the overall progress...has so far been disappointingly small."" It's a crisp note of candor in a smooth sales pitch--but the cause is good and the intention is plain.