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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


In their wide-ranging exploration, the authors take as their main examples two famous countries - Ghana, which was the first African colony to win independence but which, following its high hopes, plunged into a downward spiral of economic decay; and Thailand, which escaped colonial rule, was actually poorer than West Africa in the 1950s, but went on to achieve decades of extraordinary rapid economic growth, albeit at very considerable environmental and human cost. The reader is introduced to the countries' very different historical experiences; natural resource endowments; social and cultural systems; political cultures and economic policies. And in an analysis which will create much debate, the authors weave a general answer to their questions in which history, the quality of leadership and whether or not an open society develops take pride of place.


'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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