This book is destined to become the most comprehensive book on rural poverty in Bangladesh. The author reviews the methodological issues related to rural poverty and makes out a strong case for consistency and uniformity in measuring poverty. The strategies for poverty alleviation both in the public and private sectors pursued over the past twenty-five years are exhaustively and critically reviewed. Hasnat Hye's attempt at developing a theoretical framework to explain the phenomenon of mass poverty is interesting and should invite wider discussion. Refuting the concept of "Poverty Level Equilibrium" and "Below Poverty Level Equilibrium Trap" the author describes the poverty situation in Bangladesh as a case of "Below Poverty Line Disequilibrium". He considers it to be paradoxically both a cause for despair and of hope. The book should be useful for policy makers and field-level staff of poverty alleviation programmes. It contains detailed information on public sector efforts at poverty alleviation which should be of special interest to academic researchers.
Hasnat Abdul Hye was a Fellow at the Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford (1989) and a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for South East Asian Studies, Kyoto University (1995). His publications include: Local Level Planning in Bangladesh (1982), Agrarian Reform for Bangladesh (1982), Integrated Approaches to Rural Development (1983), Village Studies, ed. (1985), Decentralisation, Local Government Institutions, Resources Mobilisation, ed. (1985), Notes from Rural Bangladesh (1986) Integrated Rural Development Bangladesh (1989), Integrated Rural Development: A Review of Major Issues (1991), Co-operatives-Comilla and After (1993), Below the Line: Rural Poverty in Bangladesh (1996).