Each of the authors has spent years doing development, as well as in academia. "In this work," they begin, "we propose that members of the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition have a peculiar perspective and ethic regarding how the common good can be promoted, and that this has resulted in a particular approach to development." They believe that this approach has integrity and staying power and is worth offering as part of the larger development question and discussion. The central section of the book is a collection of stories and reflections from Mennonite development workers. Most have worked in villages and at the grassroots. More recently, others have been employed by public policy institutions such as the UN, USAID, and the World Bank. Others have located in between, some consulting and some working for nongovernmental organizations aimed at bettering the lives of others. Where have these hard-working, self-designated "servants" made the most effective contributions? Do their ideals ultimately keep them from rising to large-scale efforts? Can they bring a global conscience to public-policy making? Or are their views simply too at-odds and too impractical? Furthermore, do they risk having their ideals so compromised that they no longer have anything particular to offer? How do persons who understand themselves as "servants" use power? Is there any place for "mutuality," "service," and "people centeredness" in development work? Stimulating. A new view on sensitive and effective development work.
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