A valuable contribution to a vital economic debate.



A comprehensive survey of the history of theories surrounding global development, including a new perspective that emphasizes community participation and local solutions. 

In the late 1960s, there was a watershed shift in development theory that ushered in radical reconsiderations of the field’s fundamental ideas, especially regarding free market, catalyzed economic growth and top-down governmental intervention. Boateng (Development in Unity: Volume II, 2015, etc.), the chancellor of All Nations University College in Ghana and an emeritus professor of statistics, furnishes a magisterial synopsis of this academic movement as well as a concise, scholarly overview of its history. He lucidly articulates the virtues and vices of the major theoretical paradigms, including the largely neoliberal Washington Consensus of 1989 and the New Washington Consensus that replaced it after the 2008 financial crisis, which focused more on inequality. Boateng proposes his own theoretical innovation—a “root-based sustainable development model” that aims at a more holistic measure of success—one that not only includes economic stimulus, but also the establishment of democratic institutions, the mitigation of socio-economic inequality, and the empowerment of the local, active population. He also addresses the “poverty-disaster nexus,” the correlation between economic blight and the ascendancy of violent extremism and crime. At the heart of Boateng’s view is a trust in and respect for locals’ ability to achieve self-governance: “despite the constraints they often face, the local people are knowledgeable and skilful managers of their own environments.” Boateng’s own theoretical contributions are provocatively original and even radical in their advocacy of local participation, placing “lived experience and evidence-based folk knowledge” on a par with scholarly expertise. Also, he soberly recommends a multivalent approach that combines the public and private sectors with representative community councils. However, the author includes a series of scholarly articles—for example, an essay on inflation in Ghana—that will only appeal to those with a professional interest in those particular subjects. Further, Boateng’s prose can be verbose at times; in one sentence, for instance, he describes the same phenomenon as a “footprint,” a “missing chain,” and a “bridge.” However, the overall study remains as insightful as it is rigorous. 

A valuable contribution to a vital economic debate. 

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4828-7853-0

Page Count: 404

Publisher: PartridgeAfrica

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.


An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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