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The Baobab and the Mango Tree: Lessons about Development - African and Asian Contrasts

Nicholas Thompson

8 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1856498093 / ISBN 13: 9781856498098
Published by Zed Books, 2000
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Title: The Baobab and the Mango Tree: Lessons about...

Publisher: Zed Books

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title


This is a book dealing with the big questions about development: What is development? Can Third World countries ever hope to 'catch up'? Can a development path be found that avoids indefinite impoverishment on the one hand, and environmental destruction on the other? What is the relationship, if any, between economic growth and political development? Can a country that has failed hitherto create for itself a second chance? In their wide-ranging and insightful exploration, the authors take as their main examples two contrasting countries: Ghana, the first African colony to win independence, but which plunged into a downward spiral of economic decay; and Thailand, which was poorer than West Africa in the 1950s, but which went on to achieve decades of extraordinarily rapid economic growth, albeit at considerable environmental and human cost. Intensely readable, this thought-provoking and courageous book brings the big questions about development to a wide audience of college students and interested readers.


'This book is propelled by a brilliant intuition: by comparing two non-Western countries (Ghana and Thailand) with each other, instead of the usual and futile comparisons with Western models, the authors have uncovered some true secrets of the "wealth of nations" or lack of it. It helps that they know both countries so well.' Edward Luttwak 'Smart, witty and vivid, this engaging study of two very different societies navigating the rapids of development is an illuminating analysis and a joy to read.' Ronald Steel, Bancroft Prize and the National Book Critics Circle award winner, is the author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century and In Love with Night: The American Romance with Robert Kennedy 'Once in a while a work of scholarship comes along which is well researched, insightful and readable. This book by the Thompson father-and-son team is one such. It is highly recommended to all those interested in development, comparative politics and international affairs.' M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, Deputy Foreign Minister, Thailand 'A superb book that, by focusing narrowly on two countries which the authors have studied so thoroughly, offers considerable insight into the broader question of how countries grow and build political and civil society. A book for anyone interested in development and a must-read that is made only more compelling for the father-son team that wrote it.' Andrew Cockburn, author of Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein 'In lucid and expressive prose, this study evidences a deep understanding of both societies.' Kusuma Snitwongse, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok

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