The Great Surge

The Ascent of the Developing World

The Great Surge

The untold story of the global poor today: A distinguished expert and advisor to developing nations reveals how we’ve reduced poverty, increased incomes, improved health, curbed violence, and spread democracy—and how to ensure the improvements continue.

We live today at a time of great progress for the global poor. Never before have so many people, in so many developing countries, made so much progress. Most people believe the opposite: that with a few exceptions like China and India, the majority of developing countries are hopelessly mired in deep poverty, led by inept dictators, and living with pervasive famine, widespread disease, constant violence, and little hope for change. But a major transformation is underway—and has been for two decades now. Since the early 1990s more than 700 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, six million fewer children die every year from disease, tens of millions more girls are in school, millions more people have access to clean water, and democracy—often fragile and imperfect—has become the norm in developing countries around the world.

The Great Surge tells the remarkable story of this unprecedented economic, social, and political transformation. It shows how the end of the Cold War, the development of new technologies, globalization, courageous local leadership, and in some cases, good fortune, have combined to dramatically improve the fate of hundreds of millions of people in poor countries around the world. Most importantly, The Great Surge reveals how we can fight the changing tides of climate change, resource demand, economic and political mismanagement, and demographic pressures to accelerate the political, economic, and social development that has been helping the poorest of the poor around the world.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476764788 | 
  • November 2015
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Is Global Poverty Actually on the Decline?

Renowned economist Steven Radelet, author of 'The Great Surge', reveals how we’ve reduced poverty, increased incomes, improved health, curbed violence, and spread democracy around the world over the last 25 years, and how to ensure the improvements continue into the future.

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About the Author

Steven Radelet
Photograph courtesy of Georgetown University

Steven Radelet

Steven Radelet holds the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development at Georgetown University and is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. His work focuses on economic growth, poverty reduction, foreign aid, and debt, primarily in Africa and Asia. He has worked in developing countries around the world for thirty years and currently serves as economic adviser to the President of Liberia. He is the author of The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World and Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way.