THE OTHER HALF: Glimpses of Grassroots Asia by Peter C. Stuart

THE OTHER HALF: Glimpses of Grassroots Asia

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, a former information officer of the Asian Development Bank marshals much data, bolstered by a smattering of human-interest vignettes, to document the impoverishment of the Asian masses--as well as various developments allegedly neglected by the Western media. These developments include the march to food self-sufficiency spearheaded by India and Indonesia; the exportation of labor to the Middle East. which generates foreign exchange to prop up frail economies and to import costly oil; spotty--but significant--attempts to shore up rural economies and slow the flight to the cities; and the underutilization of women, partially due to insufficient birth control. In discussing these and other issues, Stuart offers a wealth of statistics: India has spent $30 billion on industrialization, providing employment for only 13% of the labor force; polluted water from shallow wells, ditches, and rivers claims 36,000 lives daily; Bangladesh pays 90% of its export earnings for imported oil, etc. On the plus side, irrigation, new strains of rice, and fish-farming have made China, Pakistan, and the Philippines food self-sufficient, while Burma and Thailand are nearing self-sufficiency; various Asian nations are establishing factory towns in remote areas; millions of backyard ""biogas"" units are converting organic waste into methane for cooking. A compendious resource on Third World problems and attempts to overcome the impact of underdevelopment and overpopulation.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1989
Publisher: Far Horizon (Box 10 Alton, IL 62002)