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New York Review of Books on The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men

The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men is reviewed in the Feb 24, 2011 New York Review of Books (NYRB).

Though I’ve written three other books that have received decent enough publicity, The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men is the only one to have been formally reviewed, first by the Wall Street Journal at the end of last year and now by NYRB. Perhaps best of all, the reviewer it was assigned to was Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet, a British medical journal that is one of the world’s most important global health publications.

What I wanted for this book, more than agreement necessarily on my thoughts about failures of imagination and the entrepreneurial strategies needed to solve problems there are no markets for solving, was for the book to be a catalyst for much broader discussion about how we imagine a future that may not yet exist but is within our grasp to achieve. I wanted it to include ideas others thought worth arguing about.

Indeed Mr. Horton does not agree with or share the enthusiasm for malaria eradication that Bill and Melinda Gates, and Steve Hoffman advocate, and which I tried to convey, or for the necessity of market strategies for which I make the case. He see’s greater opportunity in eliminating malaria in countries where that is most feasible, rather than in eradicating it entirely. But his review is thoughtful, serious, balanced and comprehensive – fully airing my ideas and arguments – really all that anyone could ask for.

Trying to project a voice on behalf of those who are so vulnerable that their own voices are seldom heard is fraught with risk. Others similarly engaged in such efforts, often having spent long stretches alone in the trenches, will have strong and differing opinions. But when the NYRB and the editor of The Lancet help to amplify such voices and add their own, the result is a great plus for so many of the issues about which you and I care most, and for those we hope to serve.

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