Tropical Gangsters: Development and Decadence in Deepest Africa

Robert Klitgaard, Author Basic Books $22.95 (281p) ISBN 978-0-465-08758-7
In this ironically titled volume, economist Klitgaard ( Controlling Corruption ) presents a brilliant analysis of a financially devastated West African country, Equatorial Guinea, where from 1986-1989 he assisted the government as part of a project funded by the World Bank. Still recovering from the 1968-1979 regime of monstrous dictator Macias who killed or drove into exile almost a third of the country's population, the nation of under a half million apparently has a major asset in its earnest President Obiang. Unfortunately, it also suffers from corrupt officials and victimization by European capitalists and ``experts'' interested primarily in junketing. Although Klitgaard examines Equatorial Guinea's finances in detail, this is primarily a warm and affectionate memoir about the country and its people. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-465-08760-0
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