Before the Bulldozer: The Nambiquara Indians and the World Bank

David Price, Author Seven Locks Press $18.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-932020-67-3
When the World Bank was considering a $425 million loan to Brazil to construct a thousand-mile highway across the country, social anthropologist Price was hired as a consultant. His job was to evaluate the effects of the proposed highway on native peoples, and recommend action to protect their interests. He had experience in Brazil--three years of fieldwork among the Nambiquara in western Brazil and two years with FUNAI, the government agency responsible for Indian affairs. Price's advice was ignored by the World Bank and the Brazilian government, as was advice by ecologists, demographers, forestry and agriculture experts. He relates here events that led to a major ecological disaster in the Third World, one that continues with cooperation and encouragement from the developed world. This is a tale of corruption, racism and bureaucratic blindness that raises a question of morality: Can we afford this kind of ``development'' in the Third World? Price returned to Brazil in 1986 as a tourist to discover chaos and calamity: tropical forest gone, settlers finding worthless land, desertification, misery among the Indians. The author points out that Brazil is not unique--the same thing occurs in other ``developing'' countries. A tragic story. (June)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 212 pages - 978-0-932020-92-5
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