Books Of India Blog

Book Review: ‘Everybody Loves A Good Drought’ by P Sainath


Originally published by Penguin Books back in 1996, Everybody Loves A Good Drought is written by the acclaimed Indian journalist Palagummi Sainath. Regarded as a modern classic in the field of rural poverty reporting, the book contains stories from the poorest districts in India and the struggles faced by the people living in them.

Research for the book was undertaken by Sainath himself while working for the Times of India newspaper. The research involved travelling almost 100,000 kilometres across the country, including thousands of kilometres on foot. The newspaper published many of Sainath’s reports and some are re-printed in this book alongside original content.



Title – Everybody Loves A Good Drought

Author – P Sainath

ISBN – 9780140259841

Price – £12.50

Book Summary

Everybody Loves A Good Drought is primarily made up of a series of short accounts of Palagummi Sainath’s travels around rural India, with a focus on the lives of some of the hundreds of millions of people living below the poverty line in the country in the late nineties. It is primarily made up of previously published Times of India newspaper reports.

The book provides detailed, intimate descriptions of the realities facing poor people, capturing their torment and despair as well as their beliefs and aspirations. In addition, Sainath explores government policies that have contributed towards the exploitation and victimisation of poor people – often under the guise of helping them.

Who Will Enjoy This Book?

The first-hand accounts and reports contained within Palagummi Sainath’s book are essential reading for anybody with an interest in the realities of rural poverty and economic inequality in India. Even two decades after its initial publication, it remains a relevant, harrowing and unsurpassed example of true social journalism.

In addition, Everybody Loves A Good Drought is now prescribed in over 100 universities around the world and is of particular use to academics who have an interest in subjects like social sciences, agricultural sciences, investigative journalism, global politics and South Asian culture.

About The Author

Palagummi Sainath is an award-winning Indian journalist and author who specialises in the fields of rural affairs, poverty and inequality. Over the course of his distinguished career, he has worked for newspapers such as the Times of India, Blitz and The Hindu; serving as the rural affairs editor of the latter until 2014.

Regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in his field, he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award, which is Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, in 2007 for services to journalism, literature and creative communication. Previously, in 2000, he was the recipient of the Global Human Rights Journalism Prize from Amnesty International.

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