Leaders must stand apart from the crowd in thinking for themselves. This is never easy. Rumours, assumptions and narrow narratives often cloud clear, independent thinking. “Cultures of Care and Contempt” reveals such failings as it probes the giant global contributions to the emergency response, recovery and reconstruction of Indonesia’s westernmost province, Aceh, after the 2004 tsunami. The fourth in the epic six-volume series “Tsunami Chronicles”, this book looks at the global contribution as people came from around the world to help. Some brought big money, others big politics. Some came with open minds, others rigid ideologies and inflexible interests. This is the story of what happens when leadership turns from care to contempt, surrendering to bureaucratic inertia and ethical failure. It swings through the impressive contributions of leading international NGOs like CARE and Oxfam, internal conflicts that gripped the Red Cross, frictions that beset the UN, ethical challenges that undermined the World Bank, the power politics of the European Commission, misfires by the United States and the weakened position of nations like the UK and Canada when outvoted in multilateral funds to which they give money. The story is a wakeup call to global leaders and international managers involved in disaster risk management and international development, especially as global warming and climate change threaten more and ever greater natural disasters.