The World Bank: A Critical Primer
by Eric Toussaint
Pluto Press, 2007
Cloth: 978-0-7453-2714-3 | Paper: 978-0-7453-2713-6
Library of Congress Classification HG3881.5.W57T6813 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 332.1532


The World Bank is a controversial organisation. It is widely viewed with suspicion, as the international economic arm of the US, in thrall to the President who is responsible for appointing the head of the Bank.

Eric Toussaint gives a highly readable account of just why the World Bank has become so powerful. In short, clear chapters he shows how the bank operates, who funds it, and what it sets out to promote.

The Bank's main purpose is to grant loans to all the newly independent states of the developing world, to help them on their journey to recovery after colonial occupation. In reality, the conditions imposed on these states -- including enforced privatisation of all public services, and enforced neo-liberal rules on trade -- mean that the Bank has become the new colonial authority in everything but name.

This is a perfect book for anyone looking for a critical introduction to the history of the Bank and its role in world affairs.

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