Monday, February 25, 2013

Something Bigger Than Ourselves Receives Stellar Remarks

Something Bigger Than Ourselves is set to release in a few short weeks. Read what Nick MacDonald of Mercy Corps had to say about the publication:

"Something Bigger than Ourselves is at once an introduction to the organizations of the humanitarian aid business, an anthropology of the personalities, and a diagnostic of it's ills and complaints. It's also a manual for how to navigate and survive them, and a prescription for how to address them. It's more than that though - because if you read carefully, and between the lines, you'll find hints of a very personal story, if not exactly an autobiography, then at least a frank and honest guide through the subject matter.

In a field of literature dominated either by grand geopolitical theories or disgruntled and critical rants about the aid business, this is a rare book. It focusses on the human story, but in a disciplined and thoughtful way - practical without being callous, compassionate but never sentimental. I come away from it feeling more that I have had a chat with an old friend in a bar in Nairobi than read a treatise on development. It is rigorously sourced and thoughtfully arranged (and I mean that in a good way).

It's conclusions are modest, at the scale of the human being, and most of its recommendations pragmatic rather than sweeping. Not for her radical restructuring of the UN, rather a call to us all to be more thoughtful and ethical practitioners. If I have a criticism it is that it tends to dwell on the downsides of the work, and does not show some of the more exciting movements at the edge of mainstream humanitarianism. Her slight tendency towards pessimism lends a feeling of melancholy to some of the book, although I am not certain she isn't right in some of her analysis...

As a teacher and a development practitioner I often get questions through my website and class about what aid work is like, and how to 'get into it'. This book starts with a thorough overview of the sector, the work, and the life that answers many of those, but goes far beyond that, grappling with issues of how to thrive as a human being within the system.

I intend to recommend Something Bigger than Ourselves to all my students. It's a great introduction to the world and issues of humanitarian aid. I also recommend it to every aid worker - her thoughtful call to self-knowledge and introspection about our practice is a useful reminder of the need to hold the course, stay true to our principles, and strive to do the best work that we're able to do. Perhaps we shouldn't need that reminder, but I think in the frantic melee of the day-to-day chaos and urgency that we do. We really do."

The book is available to pre-order online through Kumarian Press. To receive a review and/or exam copy, contact the Marketing Associate at

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Join Us at SFAA Next Month

Hi KP Readers,

Join us in Denver for SFAA from March 20-23rd. Stop by our tables to receive 30% off our new titles including: Practicing Military Anthropology, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and NGO Leadership and Human Rights.

In Practicing Military Anthropology, a number of anthropologists who have either worked with the US armed forces or who teach at military service academies reflect on what they do and teach in their military anthropologist personae. Through their personal accounts they show that the practice of military anthropology is much more than HTS and that they are more than mere “technicians of the state” as critics allege.

The result of a collaboration between a feminist legal scholar and an anthropologist, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence presents completely original work by anthropologists, international human rights lawyers, legal theorists, political scientists, mental health professionals, and activists who report upon their respective research regarding responses to conflict-related sexual violence in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and South Africa.

NGO Leadership and Human Rights covers various topics of importance to those who work in development and/or advocacy organizations with human rights orientations and for undergraduate and graduate students aspiring to such careers. This book provides context, definition and guidance for the perplexed seeking entrance into a challenging but rewarding endeavor.

Contact the Marketing Associate for more information on our attendance at SFAA:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Women's History Month is Just Around the Corner

Hello, Bookworms:

International Women's Day, on March 3rd, is a globally recognized day during the month of March (Women's History Month). Since 1908, women's opression and inequality spurred women from all over the world to become more vocal in campaigning for change and human rights. On the eve of WWI in Russia, women celebrated the first International Women's Day the last Sunday in February 1913. This day was then transfered to March 8th where it remained globally recognized. Since the new marking of this day, women campaign for peace, justice and independence.

"The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation." Great improvements have been made for women including the opportunity for an education, the freedom to work and even the chance to travel into space. However, "the unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men."

Make March 8th about women worldwide and give a voice to those who are seeking peace, independence and justice this International Women's Day with these Kumarian Press publications: Women and War
, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, and Challenging Gender Norms.

Contact the Marketing Associate to obtain review and/or exam copies:

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Pakistan Studies Title Released

Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan is February's new release.
The global scholarly community concerned with development and social transformation has identified explicit "structural impediments" that constrain countries’ efforts to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable social development. The UNDP, in launching its Millennium Development Goals, contends that there are “practical, proven solutions” to breaking out of the poverty traps that entangle poor countries.

In Pakistan, there has been limited substantive research conducted to identify the unique blend of structural impediments to development that prevail in the country today. Indeed, Pakistan’s prospects to promote viable, sustainable social development appear bleaker today than a decade ago. Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan seeks to rectify this void by bringing together scholars and practitioners—many of them from Pakistan—to provide a scholarly understanding of the structural impediments, or barriers, that have negative effects on Pakistan’s ability to eliminate poverty, promote social justice and implement policies to promote equity. This book will be an essential tool for analysis, study and practice. Its publication is indeed a major event in South Asian scholarship.

This book is available to purchase in the United States through Kumarian Press for $27.50. To receive review and/or exam copies, contact