ARNO KOPECKY, environmental journalist and the author of ‘The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway’, shortlisted for the 2014 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction.
Article Extract – Of People, Pride and Potatoes – how international development has helped-and hurt-Andean farming villages
Why should you care, anyway, that the descendants of the greatest empire ever to unite and oppress pre-contact America have been reduced to this? To lives, that is, of relentless toil and constant exploitation, scraping survival from the depleted soil of the Andean subalpine, one mottled potato at a time? (Here is a hint: Smallshare farmers such as these are the ones who currently feed around 70 percent of humanity.)
Fortunately, Susan Walsh, a development anthropologist and veteran of the foreign aid world and former executive director of USC Canada is someone who already cares. In Trojan-Horse Aid: Seeds of Resistance and Resilience in the Bolivian Highlands and Beyond, the question she is out to answer is not why you should too, but rather how people like her ought best to proceed in places like Bolivia.”
Read more at Literary Review of Canada
RAJ PATEL, bestselling author of ‘Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System’
“This compassionate memoir is filled with insights into the daily and structural contradictions of the development business, with a clarity that can come only from the rarest of people – a thoughtful and reflective practitioner. From the Bolivian highlands, Susan has given us an even-handed, informed, and lucid critique of the development industry and all it touches, herself included. A must-read for anyone with ambitions of being practically involved in international development.”
FRANCES MOORE LAPPE, author of ‘Diet For a Small Planet and Eco-Mind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want’
“Susan Walsh transports readers to the Bolivian highlands, offering us a rare, first-hand view of how development assistance can go awry. The result, however, is a compelling and ultimately hopeful tale of indigenous farmers resilience in the face of adversity.
Susan’s intimate account of her own role in their story is also an important reminder to enter new worlds with deep humility. I was especially happy to find a concluding chapter on “food sovereignty” – an approach to healthy farming that small farmers throughout the world are building, based on deep knowledge of their landscapes.”