Sep 18, 2013
Vanity Fair contributing editor, Nina Munk, decided to document a high-profile campaign to end extreme poverty. For six years, she followed celebrated economist Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages Project; a five-year campaign designed to eradicate poverty from a dozen African villages.
"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."
Munk, a former Fortune magazine writer and Forbes editor, followed 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.
At first Munk saw real progress as the cash began flowing in to the villages. But later, she says all kinds of problems began to emerge. "In some ways," she told us, "everything that could go wrong, did go wrong."
An interview with Nina Munk about her new book, The Idealist - Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty.