Squandering Eden: Africa at the Edge

Mort Rosenblum, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $19.95 (326p) ISBN 978-0-15-184860-7
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)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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