Race Against Time

Race Against Time I have spent the last four years watching people die With these wrenching words diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis opens his CBC Massey Lectures Lewis s determination to bear witness to the

  • Title: Race Against Time
  • Author: StephenLewis
  • ISBN: 9780887847530
  • Page: 494
  • Format: Paperback
  • I have spent the last four years watching people die With these wrenching words, diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis opens his 2005 CBC Massey Lectures Lewis s determination to bear witness to the desperate plight of so many in Africa and elsewhere is balanced by his unique, personal, and often searing insider s perspective on our ongoing failure to help.Lewis reco I have spent the last four years watching people die With these wrenching words, diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis opens his 2005 CBC Massey Lectures Lewis s determination to bear witness to the desperate plight of so many in Africa and elsewhere is balanced by his unique, personal, and often searing insider s perspective on our ongoing failure to help.Lewis recounts how, in 2000, the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York introduced eight Millennium Development Goals, which focused on fundamental issues such as education, health, and cutting poverty in half by 2015 In audacious prose, alive with anecdotes ranging from maddening to hilarious to heartbreaking, Lewis shows why and how the international community is falling desperately short of these goals.This edition includes an afterword by Lewis, covering events after the lectures were delivered in fall 2005.

    913 Comment

    • Shannon (Giraffe Days) says:

      It's been twenty-five years, and if anything, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is getting worse. In South Africa alone, there are six million people requiring treatment. Suffering from the "perverse economic policies" of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF); the poaching of professionals by the UK and other countries; colonialism and neo-colonialism; the USA's right-wing policies and a myriad of other external problems, Africa is also under the burden of famine, huge numbers of orphans, and [...]

    • Caroline says:

      Stephen Lewis is a firebrand. A well qualified firebrand, who deeply loves Africa - and he is angry with many of the huge and bureaucratic organisations involved with the country. He is passionately interested in * the treatment in Africa of HIV/AIDS* equality and support for women* the AIDS orphans * free education for children* and money, money, money.Thanks to an initiative by the World Health Organisation (The Three by Five campaign), the virus is slowly being turned around. Before 2005 it w [...]

    • Anna says:

      The timing of my reading this was interesting. I had just finished a three-week African Summer Institute, where professors from Nigeria, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania taught us about Africa from a much more Afro-centric perspective than I've been used to. And then I read Dambisa Moyo's Dead Aid, which aims to reject all foreign aid to Africa entirely. And then I read this and I'm kind of conflicted. Stephen Lewis makes a lot of good points and I think on a moral level he's absolutely correct abou [...]

    • Nami says:

      even though i only gave this book three stars, i still really recommend people to read itephen lewis (the author) is the UN secretary general's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in africa and in this book, reflects on each millennium development goal and concludes that we will be no where near achieving these goals.i really liked the first half, as he does a wonderful job on how unjust the situation in africa is and how we, as citizens of humanity, have the obligation to be active in addressing these i [...]

    • Ruth says:

      this is a required read for anyone who wants to make a difference in AIDS ravaged Africa. Stephen Lewis is a champion for the millions of victims of this horrible pandemic.

    • James says:

      I was born in Canada and while I am proud to be American (where at least I KNOW I'M FREE), my Canadian heritage still informs my identity. But I have not read any of the Massey Lectures (with the exception of Jean Vanier's Becoming Human). So thus begins my penance. Stephen Lewis delivered wrote these lectures in 2005. At the time he was a UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. It is now a dozen years later, and my understanding of the politics of Africa and humanitarian aid is cursory enough [...]

    • Pat Mills says:

      Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis was read by me quite some time ago. My kids were younger then and as a mom I found our North American obliviousness really shameful. I remember it as searing and insightful. Mr. Lewis's frustration was palpable.

    • Chinook says:

      Race Against Time, Stephen Lewis"It seems to me that those of us who care about the United Nations have an ethical responsibility to point out its failings and to suggest constructive alternatives. There is a tendency to think that dissent should be contained or that self-censorship is to be applauded. I regard both sentiments as the last refuge of an intellectual wimp.""The Bank and the Fund were fully told about their mistakes even as the mistakes were being made. It's so enraging that they re [...]

    • Mook says:

      This is the fourth CBC Massey Lecture book I've read and I have enjoyed all of them Without fail they are well written and really make me think about topics and ideas in ways I usually don't."Race Against Time" is a bit dated. Stephen Lewis published this in 2005, addressing his beliefs about how the world was failing to pull itself together in order to adequately fulfill the Millenium Development Goals. The fact that it's dated doesn't subtract anything at all - the goals were supposed to be ac [...]

    • Brian says:

      Stephen Lewis, former Canadian ambassador to the UN and head of the Stephen Lewis Foundation which fights AIDS in Africa, writes 5 lectures as part of the CBC Massey Hall Lecture Series.It provides an insider's perspective into the machinations of the UN and how its so bogged down with bureaucracy, politics, and self congratulatory back-patting that it often fails to meet its own objectives.Published in 2005, much of his critique it directed at the UNs Millennium Development goals for Africa whi [...]

    • Vanessa says:

      I was disappointed to find that this book was more focused on UN politicking than Africa. Not that the UN doesn't need the critique, but reading about its problems 6+ years after the fact (I really should have picked this up when it first came out), and in every chapter, just wasn't that compelling for me. I was also bothered that Lewis seemed to be cutting the exact same circuit through Africa that every other diplomat/aid giver/politician does. He visits schools and communities where locals si [...]

    • Harvey says:

      - Lewis is the United Nations' Secretary-General's Special Envoy for H.I.V./A.I.D.S. in Africa. He has served as the Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, as special advisor on the continent of Africa to the U.N. Secretary General; and as deputy executive director of U.N.I.C.E.F- In 2003 he was listed by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and chosen by McLeans Magazine as Canadian Of The Year for 2003.- this is the published version of his five Massey Lect [...]

    • Lyn says:

      This book was an amazing read on so many levels. Stephen Lewis is a humanitarian who has dedicated his life to the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and for advocating for the most vulnerable members of the humanrace in the most challenging nations on the planet. To say he is inpirational is a gross understatement -- he rocks you to the core with his passion and resolve and unfledging commitment to this cause. He is the voice of outrage at our inaction to solve what he believes are solvable pr [...]

    • Ryan says:

      Stephen Lewis is one amazing person & makes me proud to be Canadian. I think we WILL see drastic change (for the better) in years to come from the international community, with respect to treatment of AIDS in Africa. The other issues like malnutrition and inaccess to primary education and how it all ties together with AIDS is also presented really well. More than anything though, this book was written with such overwhelming passion that it's hard to not want to see what more each of us as in [...]

    • Wendy Caron says:

      This book is the Massey Lectures given by Stephen Lewis in written form. I admire Stephen Lewis very much as an orator and humanitarian. I couldn't escape his voice and articulation while reading which made the read enjoyable. I was prompted to read this book because I wanted to learn more about the Millennium Development Goals I had heard so much about and Lewis' perspective was an added bonus. However, I made the mistake of reading this book 7 years too late; written in 2005 the information is [...]

    • Alex Gregory says:

      Solid read from the CBC Massey Lecture series, in which Stephen Lewis (former MP, envoy and founder of the Stephen Lewis Foundation for HIV/AIDS relief in Africa) goes through the United Nations' failure to address the deteriorating situation in the region over the last two decades, and what ordinary people can do to help.I enjoyed it, but there's a lot of monotony throughout the five speeches in this book. There are some good anecdotes about Lewis' travels in the region and dealings with UN rep [...]

    • Maryjoamani says:

      I read this book a few years ago when we first moved to Mozambique and thought it very provocative. It's important to question what we are doing in our humanitarian efforts to make sure our judgment and wisdom are not clouded by our compassion. True compassion involves wisdom and much of what we seem to be doing in the international aid community lacks wisdom. Though Lewis seems a bit sweeping in his comments, given his personal and professional work at a very high level, his criticism should be [...]

    • Michael says:

      This is actually a CD collection from CBC Audio of Stephen Lewis and the 5 lectures he gave in 2005 on Africa. It is a history of himself in Africa and the promises made - and broken - to aid the African nations. He delves into the labyrinths of politics at the UN and worldwide. He recounts with anguish the loss of so many people that could have been friends and the lives that could have been lead. HIV/AIDS has taken a terrible toll on Africa equally as much a price has been paid for the policie [...]

    • Gayathiri says:

      This book made me want to drop whatever I was doing and take up with an NGO to go around whatever the UN isn't doing for Africa and the AIDS pandemic. The inner workings of the UN reveal it to be nothing like it claims to be: instead it's plagued by bureaucracy and high-level inertia.Lewis brings up numbers, anecdotes, precedents, anything you could possibly need to show that the Millennium Development Goals are not going to be met; he also gives solutions to the problems he identifies. It is a [...]

    • Alison says:

      Important topic, with some interesting insights. Lewis is well educated on the issues and brings the reality of HIV/AIDS in Africa to life, as well as the situation around foreign aid. However, it gets brutally bogged down in discussion of this or that UN internal issue and becomes nearly unreadable to the layperson. As well, reading it six years later does no favours as the material spends so much time on facts and figures and people who are now out of date. The message of this book - that we * [...]

    • Allie says:

      Gave up on pg. 98. Although there were some insightful parts, they didn't do much to displace the dullness of the book. The writing is uninspiring and it's quite obvious that not much effort went into transposing the CBC Massey lectures into a book. The constant revolving door of "important UN names" made it even more of a tedious read. I appreciate Lewis' courage when it comes to criticizing the UN's policies. I am no UN fangirl but this itself cannot redeem the book. I decided to leave it to m [...]

    • Andrea says:

      Lewis provides some interesting and insightful information as to the inner workings of the UN. His passion for the continent of Africa is evident. However, I don't think the speeches read very well, especially for a UN outsider. At times the book reads as extremely preachy and sanctimonious. I appreciate Lewis' aknknowledgment of how the west has played a significant role in the current demise of many African countries but he ignores the complexity of the issues Africa faces. I struggled to fini [...]

    • Marianne says:

      This is a passionate call for the world to act against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. You can certainly understand Lewis' passion, anger, and commitment to the people of Africa. His emotion is balanced by his keen understanding of the myriad forces at work in the spread of HIV/AIDS, and his detailed explanation of the bureaucracy in which he works. This is a great compilation of his Massey lectures, and has really given me a lot to consider. Certainly worth reading!

    • Alicen says:

      Having seen Stephen Lewis speak at Hopkins back in 2006, I picked up this book then but just now got around to reading it. Lewis details his career in the UN and his opinions on how various international agencies might work better and faster to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS. Understandably the material is a bit dated, but is an interesting read for anyone interested in this field of work.

    • Erinn says:

      Powerful and thought provokingThe Afterword leaves you speechless, between the Bush administration's refusal to support any programs that encouraged the use of condoms to the discussion of the "lottery of life.""Mr. Lewis, we have 350 children in my primary school, but I think I must tell you that 250 are orphans."

    • Jamie says:

      It is heartbreaking; the world needs to wake up before Africa implodes on itself. Stephen Lewis knows all the ins and outs of the politics going on behind the Aids crisis in Africa; and offers tangible solutions, but unless people pay attention the situation may be hopeless. Very interesting details about the promises made to make things better and the reality of what is going on.

    • Arlene Richards says:

      This book is part of the Massey lectures given in by Stephen Lewis in Toronto. It would have been a marvelous experience to have listened to him deliver his message live. However,his passion and his powerful writing makes his message of hope extremely compelling. His solutions were well thought-out and plausible. He had me running for my dictionary only a few time.

    • Jessica D says:

      I recommend that anyone who wants to know more about what is going on in Africa to read this book. It gives you a great insight into the problems Africa and it's countries are dealing with in terms of debt to the World Bank, education and of course AIDS. It is very informative, and very heart wrenching. I personally cried a few times while reading this book.

    • Adam Davidson-Harden says:

      must read the violence implicating Africa goes far beyond what we conventionally understand as violence hunger, HIV/AIDS, lack of livelihoods, all have to do with larger actors such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and corporations that are obstructing true help for the embattled continent

    • Jocelynlt says:

      Stephen Lewis is a modern-day Ezekiel, calling humanity back to themselves, drawing attention to the desperation that's being overlooked. I heard these Massey Lectures when they were broadcast on the CBC and was frequently chilled, moved to tears, or riveted to the radio.If you don't want to be deeply moved - don't read it.

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