What We Are Reading Today: Disney’s Land by Richard Snow

Updated 02 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Disney’s Land by Richard Snow

  • In Disney’s Land, Snow “brilliantly presents the entire spectacular story

Disney’s Land is an interesting and informative book.

It is a propulsive history “chronicling the conception and creation of Disneyland, the masterpiece California theme park, as told like never before by popular historian Richard Snow,” said a review in goodreads.com

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its gates. Eight hundred million visitors have flocked to the park since then. 

In Disney’s Land, Snow “brilliantly presents the entire spectacular story, a wild ride from vision to realization, and an epic of innovation and error that reflects the uniqueness of the man determined to build ‘the happiest place on earth’ with a watchmaker’s precision, an artist’s conviction, and the desperate, high-hearted recklessness of a riverboat gambler,” the review added.

Tom Zoellner said in a review for The New York Times: “This is primarily a construction saga, albeit a highly readable one set in an anxious nation that didn’t know it needed Disneyland until Walt provided it.”

“The clockwork of the park — and to some extent, the personality of the man who created it — receives an expert inspection in Disney’s Land,” said Zoellner.


What We Are Reading Today: Give and Take by Nitsan Chorev

Updated 13 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Give and Take by Nitsan Chorev

Give and Take looks at local drug manufacturing in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, from the early 1980s to the present, to understand the impact of foreign aid on industrial development. 

While foreign aid has been attacked by critics as wasteful, counterproductive, or exploitative, Nitsan Chorev makes a clear case for the effectiveness of what she terms “developmental foreign aid.”

Against the backdrop of Africa’s pursuit of economic self-sufficiency, the battle against AIDS and malaria, and bitter negotiations over affordable drugs, Chorev offers an important corrective to popular views on foreign aid and development, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

She shows that when foreign aid has provided markets, monitoring, and mentoring, it has supported the emergence and upgrading of local production. 

Without losing sight of domestic political-economic conditions, historical legacies, and foreign aid’s own internal contradictions, Give and Take presents groundbreaking insights into the conditions under which foreign aid can be effective.