From the Global and Transnational Sociology Section announcment:
"A Fraught Embrace is a “tour de force”. Ann Swidler and Susan Cotts Watkins draw from more than 15 years of research to bring light to altruism aimed at stopping the spread of HIV in Malawi. The book is expertly written, entirely engrossing, and illuminating. They challenge their readers to think about the transnational AIDS enterprise in new ways. Although centered on a specific case of AIDS altruism in Malawi, the book has implications for how we understand altruism, aid, and development between the global north and south much more broadly. The book combines strong ethnographic work of aid recipients and brokers and donors with organizational analysis of large states/NGDOs involved. The emphasis on brokers was especially interesting, and it problematized some basic assumptions used among those studying development and aid. The authors introduce terminology and concepts that help readers understand a complex system and web of actors, and they successfully bring compassion, insight, and even humor to a topic that could leave us all feeling very pessimistic. In short, the book is insightful and sheds new light on the frailties of the international development/aid regime sociologists, policy-makers, NGOs, and altruists should all read this book."
The book was also awarded Honorable Mention for the Outstanding Published Book Award from the section on Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity.