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Armed with his surfboard and a $10-million-dollar loan from the World Bank, Robert Klitgaard, a Harvard-trained economist, arrived in Equatorial Guinea, eager to rehabilitate its ruined economy. Tropical Gangsters is his fascinating and compelling account of his two-and-a-half-year adventure and an insightful look at why foreign aid so often fails. Selected as one of the sx best nonfiction books of 1990 by The New York Times Book Review.
Posted September 20, 2009
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A concise and sympathetic review of the author's time, observations, & collaboration working in Equatorial Guinea. The "tropical gangsters" title is pulled from the book, but is misleading, as the focus of the book is on those who tried to improve the country at the time, rather than on the corrupt functionaries on the periphery of this story who helped to drag the political environment down. While Chapters 6 & 7 sagged a bit from the policy-heavy details, and the lack of a cheat sheet (or indexing of the ministers the author dealt with) made it hard to keep all the "Dons" and their roles in government straight, the book covers a lot of ground in its 273 pages, and gives the reader a rich feel for the work and physical environment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 27, 2007
I had the chance to visit Equatorial Guinea in 2004, and I wish that I had read this book prior to that trip. Not only would it have opened my eyes to more of what this fascinating country has to offer, it would have made more sense of the place to a 25-year-old certified Western city slicker. Klitgaard does an amazing job of describing the country, the culture, the people, and world politics while he's at it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.