Damned If You Do: Foreign Aid and My Struggle to Do Right in Myanmar (Hardcover)
Would you give aid to a government that kills its own people? Ellen Goldstein's thought-provoking memoir explores difficult questions about doing right as democracies teeter and the rule of law erodes.
Goldstein goes to Myanmar (formerly Burma) to lead one of the world's fastest-growing aid programs amid great optimism for the country's future. Within weeks of her arrival, the military razes villages, kills members of the Rohingya minority, and sends three-quarters of a million refugees fleeing.
As Goldstein searches for ways to help the Rohingya, she is caught in the crosshairs of an indifferent government, a risk-averse bureaucracy, and outraged activists. With her career in jeopardy, and haunted by the Holocaust lessons of her childhood, she strives to do right even as her hopes for democracy in Myanmar are dimmed and then brutally crushed. Damned If You Do is a cautionary tale for aid workers, diplomats, and everyone committed to making our world a better place.