Ethical Elephant


Welcome to our Ethical Elephant in the Room reading room! If you're here, we're assuming you have been intrigued, like us, to learn more about the books that have made a big impact on our psyche and perception of important matters affecting our world.

Books are treasures; staying with us long after we read their last lines, pass them on, or return them back on the shelf. We hope that our reading room impacts you, inspires you, and even shocks you! With that we leave you with the following words:

“From the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom”
 Thomas Paine


1. The Bad Samaritans: The Secret History of Capitalism and the Myth of Free Trade 

Author: Dr. Ha-joon Chang

Unlike typical economists who construct models of how the marketplace should work based on outdated and questionable economic theories, in Bad Samaritans, Dr. Chang puts a spotlight on the past to reveal that today's economic superpowers - from the U.S. to Britain - all attained prosperity through shameless protectionism and calculated government intervention to ensure the prosperity of their industries, in spite of what they currently preach under the guise of “development aid.” Chang makes a case that free-trade economists disregard the fact that many developing countries had higher GDP growth before they were pressured into deregulating their economies and adopting free trade policies, arguing that both logic and justice demand that we re-evaluate the policies that the “unholy trinity” of the three main international governance bodies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organisation (WTO), and World Bank have imposed on the developing world, at the expense of development of the global South.

A provocative and witty read: order the book on SANDE bookshop

2. Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothes

Author: Dr. Andrew Brooks

Clothing Poverty is a thought-provoking exposé that takes the reader on a vivid around-the-world tour which brings to light how fast fashion and the trade of second-hand clothing are interconnected in creating clothing systems of provision that generate poverty rather than help alleviate it. Dr. Andrew Brooks shows how recycled clothes are traded across continents and reveals just how destructive the trade has been in the continent of Africa on its national textile industries and overall development. Brooks uncovers how retailers, international charities, development aid organisations and especially global governance bodies are embroiled in destructive commodity chains that destroy the livelihoods of peoples and governments as they promote a neoliberal agenda that stifles, rather than advances the economic development of developing countries. If you’re curious to know how the seemingly small act of donating your clothes can have a big impact on the world, we encourage you to read this book!  

A well-rounded and informative read: order the book on SANDE Bookshop


3. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Author: Naomi Klein

The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant economic ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's “Flat World” free market economic theory, but under a different light. Despite this movement's “peaceful” global victory, award-winning journalist, Naomi Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence to implement its neoliberal economic policies in many parts of the world ravaged by crises, war, and poverty - from Latin America, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Russia, and Iraq.

Klein introduces the term “disaster capitalism” to expose how people and economies still reeling from natural or man-made catastrophes are being exploited by a system that is capitalizing on crises. The disaster capitalism complex now exists as a “booming new economic model,” and is the “violent culmination of a radical economic project” that has been looming for half a century.

A shocking exposé: order the book on SANDE Bookshop

4. Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order


Author: Dr. Noam Chomsky

Have you ever wondered why the gap between the rich and the poor seems to be increasing in the world? Why no matter how much effort global bodies of governance seem to invest in making things better the situation just ends up getting worse? The culprit, Dr. Chomsky reveals, is the dominant neoliberal ideology that is running the world today - the belief in the supremacy of the free market to drive and govern human affairs. In Profit Over People, Chomsky reveals the root of the problem by following the history of neoliberalism through a critical analysis of free trade agreements made in the 1990s, revealing how the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund have played a key role in its devastating global effect. Chomsky also describes the movements of resistance to the increasing interference by the private sector in global affairs and how, through Chomsky's analysis of resistance, we may find an escape from the loop of injustice that has been inflicted on the world.

An illuminating read: order the book on SANDE Bookshop

5. The End of Development: A Global History of Poverty and Prosperity

Author: Dr. Andrew Brooks  

Have you ever wondered why some countries grow rich while others remain poor?

Tracing the history of humanity from hunter-gatherer societies to the early twenty-first century, Andrew Brooks rejects popular explanations for the divergence of nations and reveals how after the Second World War, international aid projects failed to close the gap between 'developed' and 'developing' nations, causing millions to remain and achieve a state of impoverishment. Rather than address the root causes of inequality, overseas development bodies have exacerbated the problems of uneven development by imposing destructive neoliberal policies and crippling debts on poorer countries that they are unable to repay, tightening the grip of control around their necks. Brooks reveals how this defective form of development is now coming to an end, as the emerging economies of Asia and Africa begin to assert themselves on the world stage.

A book of hope: order the book on SANDE bookshop