• 1 of 20 A mother and her child in Ruhiira, Uganda. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 2 of 20 Girls at Dertu Primary School in Kenya's North Eastern Province. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 3 of 20 Jeffrey Sachs (center) and Ahmed M. Mohamed (to his right) celebrate the opening of Dertu's Millennium Villages
    Project Livestock Market. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 4 of 20 A monk prays at Daniel Korkor, a rock-hewn church perched on Gheralta's mountain peaks in northern Ethiopia. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 5 of 20 Sebuuma Sadati, a "banana boy," transports a load of green matoke bananas from Ruhiira to Mbarara, Uganda. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 6 of 20 A woman at her kitchen in Koraro, a village in Ethiopia's Tigray region. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 7 of 20 Nina Munk at Sahlan Bath Hussein's tea house in Dertu, Kenya, with Sahlan (right) and her daughter (left). All photos © N. Munk.

  • 8 of 20 One of the new shops in Dertu's commercial center. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 9 of 20 A local administrator visits a villager's hut in Koraro, Ethiopia. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 10 of 20 Schoolchildren crowd inside a grass-thatched classroom in Mwandama, Malawi. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 11 of 20 A woman and her son rest above their farmed fields in Koraro, Ethiopia. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 12 of 20 As a crowd of people gathered to hear Jeffrey Sachs speak in Koraro, Ethiopia, Nina Munk takes notes. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 13 of 20 Nina Munk with friends (and her notebook) on Dertu's main street. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 14 of 20 English learning aids at the Omwicwamba Primary School in Ruhiira, Uganda. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 15 of 20 In Dertu, Kenya, nomadic herders and their caravans of camels await water at the village borehole. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 16 of 20 Outside Dertu's dugsi or madrasa, where Somali boys memorize, recite, and write out
    the Koran on wooden tablets known as loh. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 17 of 20 One of Dertu's first "semi-permanent" homes, built by the itinerant schoolteacher Abdullahi Bari Barow for
    his wife (pictured here) and newborn daughter. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 18 of 20 A girl herds sheep in Koraro, Ethiopia. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 19 of 20 Nina Munk and a crowd of Ugandans await the arrival of Jeffrey Sachs. All photos © N. Munk.

  • 20 of 20 Using a makeshift backpack, a boy carries a sack of grain through Ethiopia's Gheralta mountain range. All photos © N. Munk.

The Idealist
Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty

The Idealist is the profound and moving story of what happens when the abstract theories of a brilliant, driven man meet the reality of human life. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton has described The Idealist as “a masterpiece.” Bill Gates calls it a “valuable – and at times heartbreaking – cautionary tale.” Bill Easterly says it is “one of the most readable and evocative accounts of foreign aid ever written."

Deeply reported over six years, The Idealist chronicles the celebrated economist Jeffrey Sachs’s quixotic effort to end extreme poverty. Beginning with the launch of his $120 million Millennium Villages Project, Nina Munk shadowed Sachs on his trips to Africa and sat in on his conversations with heads-of-state, humanitarian organizations, rival economists, and development experts. She immersed herself in the lives of people in two Millennium villages – Ruhiira, in southwest Uganda; and Dertu, in the arid borderland between Kenya and Somalia – accepting the hospitality of camel herders and small-hold farmers, and witnessing their struggle to survive.

The Idealist traces Munk’s journey as she comes to understand the real-life issues that challenge Sachs's formula for ending global poverty. With nuance and sensitivity, she reveals the devastating gulf between the Millennium Project’s good intentions and the hard reality of economic development.

You can read excerpts of The Idealist here on HuffPost. You can read reviews, watch the trailer, and, if you’re an educator, consult the official teaching guide from Random House. You can also buy a copy of The Idealist.


How It Happened:
Documenting the Tragedy of Hungarian Jewry

A gripping first-hand account of the devastating "last chapter" of the Holocaust, edited by Nina Munk and written by the lead secretary of the Jewish Council in Budapest, How It Happened is a unique testament to the senseless brutality that decimated the Jews of Hungary.

Fools Rush In:
Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner

Fools Rush In is the definitive account of one of the greatest fiascos in the history of corporate America: AOL's $163 billion purchase of Time Warner. With painstaking reporting and a narrative fraught with drama, this critically acclaimed book reveals the overweening ambition and moral posturing that brought down the "Worst Deal of the Century."

The Art of Clairtone:
The Making of a Design Icon, 1958-1971

With a richly reported text and 250 illustrations, The Art of Clairtone is an in-depth look at the skyrocketing success and sensational collapse of an iconoclastic company that for a decade, in the 1960s, captured the spirit of the times.

Schools for Scandal:
The Inside Dramas at 16 of America’s Most Elite Campuses

An array of Vanity Fair’s signature writers, including Nina Munk, present a compelling if troubling account of the state of elite education today.

The Great Hangover:
21 Tales of the New Recession from the Pages of Vanity Fair

A collection of essays on the global economic crisis by some of the most respected business writers in America, including Nina Munk.