Lifeblood: How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time (Hardcover)

How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time

By Alex Perry

PublicAffairs, 9781610390866, 242pp.

Publication Date: September 6, 2011



In 2006, the Wall Street pioneer and philanthropist Ray Chambers flicked through some holiday snapshots taken by his friend, development economist Jeff Sachs, and remarked on the placid beauty of a group of sleeping Malawian children. "They're not sleeping," Sachs told him. "They're in malarial comas. A few days later, they were all dead." Chambers had long avoided the public eye, but this moment sparked his determination to coordinate an unprecedented, worldwide effort to eradicate a disease that has haunted humanity since before the advent of medicine.

Award-winning journalist Alex Perry obtained unique access to Chambers, now the UN Special Envoy for Malaria. In this book, Perry weaves together science and history with on-the-ground reporting and a riveting expose of the workings of humanitarian aid to document Chambers' campaign. By replacing traditional ideas of assistance with business acumen and hustle, Chambers saved millions of lives, and upturned current notions of aid, forging a new path not just for the developing world but for global business and philanthropy.

About the Author

Alex Perry is Time's Africa bureau chief, based in Cape Town. He is the author of Falling Off the Edge: Globalization, World Peace and Other Lies (2009).

Praise For Lifeblood: How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time

The New York Times, August 20, 2011
“[a] gem of a book…it has an important story to tell, and Mr. Perry tells it with precision and gusto.”

Nature Magazine“Journalist Alex Perry chronicles two years of US philanthropist Ray Chambers’s crusade against malaria. A mix of science, history and research, this is a fascinating take on a disease that kills a million people a year. Chambers’s story is just as intriguing. Pragmatism, business sense and bullheadedness gave him an advantage over the formulaic and often cost-ineffective approaches of many aid agencies. His Wall Street clout helped him to bring world leaders on board. And his focus on solutions such as bed nets and poverty eradication has, says Perry, enabled him to save millions of lives.” Spectator, October 15, 2011 “A book about a campaign to rid the world of malaria may not sound like a riveting read and Lifeblood is an unlikely page-turner. But you are soon caught up in the challenges of the campaign and, along the way, you learn a great deal about the labyrinthine world of aid, Africa, business and politics.”