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Path of Good Intentions
Smith Alumnae Quarterly

Journalist Nina Munk follows economist Jeffrey Sachs on his heralded plan to end extreme poverty. In the end, she finds there are no shortcuts and no easy answers.
Read the article (beginning on p. 27)

The Idealist
WKCR

After six years of research, journalist Nina Munk has written The Idealist, a book documenting the efforts of Jeffrey Sachs in global sustainable development. Sachs is a professor at Columbia University and the director of the Earth Institute. His brainchild, the Millennium Villages Project, is meant to put his economic theories into action to lift various African communities out of an endless cycle of poverty—the "poverty trap.” Munk, however, has a sharply critical view of the Millenium Villiages Project, predicting that while the project has not yet conclusively failed, "when we look back 10 years from now, it will clearly be perceived as a failure."
Listen to the program

The Idealist: Nina Munk on Jeff Sachs
Development Drums

Nina Munk’s latest, The Idealist, is about Jeffrey Sachs and the Millennium Villages Project. It is also a book about the efforts that people in industrialized countries make to help poor people. It is a book about vision, passion and hubris. In this episode of Development Drums, Nina Munk tells the story of how she came to write the book, and what she learned about Jeff Sachs, and about development aid, as she did so.
Listen to the podcast

A Discussion of "The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty"
Hudson Institute

Ms. Munk, a Vanity Fair contributing editor, spent six years following the Millennium Villages Project, which has funneled $100 million over ten years into Africa. Her book focuses on two sites in Kenya and Uganda. “After reading Munk’s superb book, nobody will ever again think ending poverty is really that easy,” wrote economist William Easterly. On February 20th, regular Chronicle of Philanthropy contributors Pablo Eisenberg and Bill Schambra co-moderated a discussion of The Idealist with its author.
Watch the video

Nina Munk on Poverty, Development, and the Idealist
EconTalk

Nina Munk, journalist and author of The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book. Munk spent six years following Jeffrey Sachs and the evolution of the Millennium Villages Project—an attempt to jumpstart a set of African villages in hopes of discovering a new template for development. Munk details the great optimism at the beginning of the project and the discouraging results after six years of high levels of aid. Sachs's story is one of the great lessons in unintended consequences and the complexity of the development process.
Listen to the podcast

Saving Africa?
Deseret News

A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, Nina Munk’s work is widely published at the highest levels. For her new book, “The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty,” she spent six years following the Millennium Villages Project, the brainchild of Columbia economist Jeffrey Sachs.... “Sachs offered a seductive message to Westerners: that they could be the saviors who could end poverty in Africa with a modest amount of effort,” wrote New York University economist William Easterly in Barron’s. “After reading Munk's superb book, nobody will ever again think ending poverty is really that easy.” The Deseret News interviewed Munk on her book, on the roots of poverty in Africa, and on the potential for interventions that could end it.”
Read the full interview

3 Questions for
Nina Munk
Devex

Nina Munk has stirred a lot of buzz lately. Her newly released book chronicled the rise and troubles of Jeffrey Sach’s renowned brainchild, the Millennium Villages – and a large part of the trouble, it suggests, is the Columbia University professor’s approach to development. In this exclusive interview, Munk explained why charity isn’t the same as economic development and stressed that despite what has been written about the Millennium Villages Project, it “is not a failure.”
Read the full interview

Sustaining Development
Canadian International Council

The CIC's OpenCanada talked to Nina Munk about Jeffrey Sachs, the Millennium Villages Project, and measuring the effectiveness of foreign aid.
Read the full interview

Has Jeffrey Sachs Actually Helped to Ease Poverty?
The Brian Lehrer Show,
WYNC

Nina Munk, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of The Idealist, explores the success and failure of Jeffrey Sachs' efforts to find "the end of poverty" through his Millenium Villages Project in Africa.
Listen to the podcast

Africa Needs a Different Approach to Poverty
Reuters TV

Rob Cox discusses the flawed attempts to lift Africa's poor with Nina Munk. "Too many NGOs and non-profits refuse to be transparent and...won't talk openly about failures for fear that they're not going to be able to raise money. I understand those fears—they're real—but it's not in the best interest of the poorest people on the planet to continually misrepresent what's happening on the ground."
Watch the video

Can “Bono’s Africa Guru” Jeffrey Sachs Truly End Poverty?
Bruce Handy,
VF Daily, Vanity Fair

Nina Munk, a V.F. contributing editor, first wrote about Jeffrey Sachs in the magazine’s Africa issue, in 2007. She spent the next six years returning to Africa to follow the progress at two Millennium Villages. It will probably come as no surprise that “interventions” that made sense in theory didn’t always translate on the ground. I spoke with Munk about the book.
Read the full article

When Theory Meets Reality
Canada AM,
CTV News

Author Nina Munk sounds off on spending six years researching Jeffrey Sachs and his ambitious quest to end global poverty—and explains why economic development resembles the game of Wac-a-Mole.
Watch the video

Tracking One Man's Quest to End Extreme Poverty
Amy Costello,
Tiny Spark

Nina Munk followed Jeffrey Sachs on his official trips to Africa. She visited and revisited two of the Millennium Villages sites, living among the people there, to see how the project was panning out on the ground. “I thought to myself, if one of the most admired, most respected macro economists in the world believes that we can end poverty in our lifetime, I’m willing to follow him and watch what happens.”
Listen to the podcast

Nina Munk LIVE
HuffPost Live

Award-winning journalist Nina Munk joins HuffPost Live to discuss her new book, 'The Idealist,' about the six-plus years she spent following economist Jeffrey Sachs on his crusade to end extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.
Watch the video

Idealism's Reality Check
Robert Milburn,
Barron's Penta Daily

This week, in New York City, Reason magazine hosted Vanity Fair contributing editor and author Nina Munk, as she discussed her recent book, The Idealist…. In her book, Munk purposely avoids passing judgement and lets her on-the-ground reporting speak for itself. Yet skeptical questioners in Tuesday night’s audience drew out her personal views on the subject. Much to Munk’s chagrin, she recounted the celebrity economist’s ultimate failure to deliver on his lofty promises.
Read the full article

The Quest to
End Poverty
CBC, The Current

Economist Jeffrey Sachs believes the poor nations of the world can get out of poverty with the help of massive foreign aid. Anna Maria Tremonti talks to journalist Nina Munk who's examined projects championed by Sachs and says sometimes good intentions have left people even worse off than before. "We have spent billions of dollars trying to end poverty. If it was easy we would have ended poverty by now. I think we have a responsibility to stand up and say—we were completely wrong headed about this—how can we have been so foolish?"
Listen to the podcast and read about the interview

Book Discussion on The Idealist
BookTV,
C-Span

Nina Munk talked about her book, The Idealist, in which she chronicles the promise and eventual failure of Jeffrey Sachs' Millennium Village Project that had the end goal of eradicating poverty around the world. She spent six years following Jeffrey Sachs and his project team in Africa. During this event, hosted by the Reason Foundation, Ms. Munk spoke with Gene Epstein of Barron’s.
Watch the video

Fighting Poverty,
and Critics
Joe Nocera,
The New York Times

Nina Munk's new book, The Idealist, is about the well-known economist Jeffrey Sachs and his "quest to end poverty," as the subtitle puts it. I know: That subtitle sounds like classic book-industry hyperbole, but in this case, it's not. That really is what Sachs has been trying to do. The question of whether or not he is succeeding is where things get tricky.
Read the full article

Metropolitan Opera Woes
CNBC, Power Lunch

A look at the cost behind shaking up the NY Opera, with Nina Munk, Vanity Fair contributing editor, interviewed by CNBC's Michelle Caruso Cabrera.
Watch the video

Harvard University Staggers As Endowment Shrinks
NPR, Morning Edition

Many of the nation's top universities are experiencing problems as a result of the financial meltdown—even Harvard University. “It's rather like someone who has taken on a mortgage, bought a house that far exceeds what it can afford, and they're now facing really what is the worst, most dangerous financial crisis in their 373-year history,” Nina Munk told NPR's Linda Wertheimer.
Listen to the podcast

Rich Harvard, Poor Harvard
CNBC, Power Lunch

Harvard's endowment has been hard hit by the market turmoil, and this turmoil is causing the university to cut jobs and classes. Nina Munk, of Vanity Fair, discusses the issues with CNBC's Michelle Caruso Cabrero.
Watch the video

For the most current information about readings, book signings, and other events, please follow @ninamunk on Twitter.

To arrange for Nina Munk to speak at your event or visit your school, contact Alison Rich at Random House.

The Jepson Leadership Forum Lecture on The Perils of Good Intentions
24 February 2016
7:00 PM
University of Richmond
Richmond, VA

The International Forum Keynote Speaker
22 January 2016
12:45 PM
Delta Ottawa City Center
Ottawa, ON

Nina Munk in Conversation with Rudyard Griffiths
21 October 2015
6:00 PM
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Author Event: Nina Munk
14 August 2014
7:00 PM
Blue Hill Public Library 
Blue Hill, ME

Political Economy Project:
Nina Munk

15 April 2014
4:00 PM
Dartmouth College
Rockefeller Center, Room 002
Hanover, NH

Global Salon with Nina Munk
15 April 2014
12:00 PM
Smith College
Lewis Global Studies Center
Wright Hall 127
Northampton, MA

Smith College Guest Lecture
14 April 2014
5:00 PM
Nelson Library Browsing Room
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton, MA

Harvard Club of New York
Book Fair

6 April 2014
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
35 West 44th St.
New York, NY

The University Club of New York
10 March 2014
8:00 PM
One West 54th Street
New York, NY

Center for Global Development
20 February 2014
4:00 PM
2055 L Street NW
Washington, DC

Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal
20 February 2014
12:00 PM

Hudson Institute
1015 15th St. NW
Washington, DC

BookPeople
10 February 2014
7:00 PM
603 N. Lamar
Austin, TX

LBJ School of Public Affairs
10 February 2014
12:00 PM
Bass Lecture Hall
2300 Red River St.
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

The Center for Innovation in Global Health
6 February 2014
5:30 PM

Stanford University School of Medicine
LKSC 320, Dean’s Boardroom
Palo Alto, CA

The Union Club
5 November 2013
6:00 PM
101 East 66th Street
New York, NY

UNM: 2013 Annual Global Health Initiative Guest Lecture
30 October 2013
3:00 PM
Department of Emergency Medicine
Albuquerque, NM

The Rotary Club of New York
28 October 2013
12:00 PM

The Harvard Club
New York, NY

Gardiner Museum: Lunch & Learn
18 September 2013
12:00 PM
111 Queen's Park
Toronto, ON

HuffPost Live: Nina Munk LIVE
16 September 2013
1:00 PM
New York, NY

Reason: In Conversation with Gene Epstein
10 September 2013
6:30 PM
1 East 27th St.
New York, NY