The Dreams of General Jerusalem

Peter Marris, Author Bloomsbury Publishing PLC $22.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-7475-0152-7
Informed and convincing, this first novel by an urban planner expert in African affairs pinpoints the tragedy of big-power interference in Third World politics. Three men, none of them self-serving, believe that their plan to build a resort hotel in a small unnamed African state will rescue the country from poverty and factionalism. The plan, proposed by Peter Petterson, factotum of a New York-based foundation, to George Eaton, former district officer, and Wallace Munene, a black career politician and George's long-time friend, requires removing squatters from the area called Racecoursetown, housing them in a less picture-postcard quarter, at the same time providing them with jobs. The three, however, reckoned without the eponymous General, whose spiritual leadership sustains the poor and causes them to revolt. In the course of negotiation--that eventually includes murder--Eaton falls in love with Munene's white English wife. While the lovemaking is an unwelcome distraction, the book succeeds resoundingly in its examination of the motives of even well-meaning men. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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