Under this provocative title the AUFS republishes five field reports for 1966 and 1967—from Brazil, Peru, Afghanistan, Morocco, and Malaya. The format and content, including maps and photographs, are the same as in the original reports. This is a second volume in the AUFS readings, destined to reach beyond the subscriber institutions and to provide comparative views of certain major world problems.
For any area specialist the work’s contribution lies not only in its detailed information and solid assessment of particular regions, but also in the contrasts and similarities which emerge from juxtaposing quite distinct world areas. Thus for the Latin Americanist, James Rowe has provided a good examination of Brazil’s vast interior and of the contemporary problems facing the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Amazonas, and Pernambuco in relating to the national development and to the cities of Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. This analysis takes on new perpsective against Charles Gallagher’s political assessment of Morocco’s nation-building process vis-à-vis the countries which have most influenced that development—Spain, Algeria, Mauritania, and the United States. Similarly the well-known cultural anthropologist, Richard Patch, writes on Lima’s central market place and the assimilation of highland Indians into the urban environment. This study also gains by parallels with Louis Dupree’s village of Ag Kupruk in northern Afghanistan or Willard Hanna’s Malayan communities in Chinese-dominated Singapore.
The themes which emerge from such juxtaposition will vary with each reader. Among those that will certainly strike responsive chords are the changes in cultural values resulting from the transition from village to city environment, the political and commercial response to intensified contact with the “modern” world, and the effect of technology and education on the process of assimilation. Narrowing the focus to such problems of cultural change makes this volume a distinct improvement over its predecessor, The Developing World, and bodes well for the future of AUFS comparative readings.