Another book picked up in the Verso sale, Japhy Wilson’s Jeffrey Sachs: The Strange Case of Dr. Shock and Mr. Aid. [Update: An abridged version of Chapter Five is available here.]
It’s a powerful and nuanced critique of his work and involvement in neoliberal projects, and a careful analysis of his development projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sachs spoke at the AAG in Boston in 2008 (video below). I expressed some of my doubts about this invitation to a senior member of the profession who told me I was wrong, and that “Sachs was one of the good guys”. Reading this book makes me think I wasn’t wrong after all, and I now know a lot more about why that is the case.
I examined Japhy‘s PhD thesis some years ago (on a completely different topic). It’s great to see him make this carefully researched and politically engaged contribution. A more theoretical approach to Sachs can be found in an article by Japhy in Antipode from earlier this year (requires subscription).