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Losing Asia Modernization and the Culture of Development

by Bret Wallach

  • ISBN: 9780801851704
  • ISBN10: 080185170X

Losing Asia Modernization and the Culture of Development

by Bret Wallach

  • List Price: $42.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 02/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780801851704
  • ISBN10: 080185170X
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Description: "Village Landscapes", writes Bret Wallach, "are among the most perfect places on the planet". In this highly engaging account of the aesthetic cost of modernizing the Asian countryside, Wallach presents a dark side of Third World development. Showing through descriptive travelogue where and how so much of the beauty in these rural landscapes has been lost, he nevertheless concludes that there is still much left to savor and protect. Writing from both his own personal experience and extensive geographical research, Wallach takes readers on an adventure into Asia that begins in southern China's Yunnan province. He then visits five progressively more pristine places until, finally, in the Ganges delta, he arrives at one of the last places in Asia virtually untouched by Western development. Wallach describes Chinese officials who, in the pursuit of more efficient production, do not hesitate to sacrifice traditional and beautiful agricultural landscapes. But it is in India, among the lingering vestiges of British colonialism, that he finds the roots of the "culture of development". Wallach warns of the danger not only of foreign experts but also of well-meaning natives returning home from the West, armed with advanced degrees and "full of technical tricks". Just as these specialists have - however grudgingly - found room in their development plans for ecological considerations, so too, Wallach contends, they should now find room for the preservation of beauty. Throughout, Wallach relates the history of rural development in South Asia along with his own observation of the contemporary rural landscape. He provides examples of how new methods of agriculture, irrigation, and communitydevelopment have brought dramatic transformations to Asia as a whole. In the final chapter, he describes grassroots conservation movements already working throughout Asia and discusses ways in which these beautiful places might be saved.
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