Squandering Eden: Africa at the Edge

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
AP correspondent Rosenblum and scientist Williamson look at Africa's economic and social problemsoverpopulation, hunger, AIDS, enormous debt, racism, disappearing wildlife, ecological disasterand paint a gloomy picture of a desperate situation. Peasants and nomads are doomed by human tampering with nature, while the land and animals that supported them are disappearing. In the end, their choices are narrowed to one: ``To squat at the side of a road and wait for food relief trucks.'' Foreign governments send ``experts'' and spend billions, but their ``aid'' has enriched foreigners and entrenched corrupt states. As they jostle with one another for personal power and gain, many African leaders are squandering national wealth and throwing away the future of their people. But if planners could focus on what the people know, rather than on what they do not, ways could be found to learn from them, and at much less expense. The only real answer, argue the authors, is an intelligent compromise between man and nature. Entire environments must be protected, not single species within them. Regional groupings must integrate their economies. Further failure to recognize and confront Africa's crisis head-on will condemn an entire continent to unimaginable human misery. This hard-headed survey may help to make a difference. (September 22)
Library Journal
Rosenblum, a journalist, and Williamson, a scientist, explore Africa in the 1980s and report ubiquitous disaster and tragedy. The book deals with the human element and that is both its attraction and its weakness, for it is more readable than Bill Freund's clinical economic assessment, The Making of Contemporary Africa (Indiana Univ. Pr., 1984), but less profound. It weaves a backdrop of misguided charity, of bloated egos amid corruption and waste, and of our State Department consistently backing the wrong horse. The real concern is lack of concernU.S. aid to this huge continent is being reduced by a third, while tiny Israel, which already receives more, is getting an increase. This is a hard look at a depressing future. Highly recommended. Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Lib., Gainesville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151848607
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/5/1987
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 326

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