|About the Book|
Mining, Agriculture and Religion is a study of economic development from the ground looking up. It focuses on resource development, food production, ground transportation, and the scope and volume of peasant commerce. It is based on author Ronald E. Seavoys experience as a geologist working for ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America) to explore for and evaluate bauxite and nickel laterite mineralization in west Borneo. Seavoy had great mobility that was hugely enhanced by seven continuous months of residence in one Dayak village that practiced shifting cultivation (ladang). Mobility and continuous residence in one peasant village is not the usual way economists, historians, and political scientists examine the problems of economic development- their perspective is generally from central governments looking down. The recommendations made by international aid agencies to central governments usually have a deficient understanding of the subsistence social values that govern peasant societies because they never go into the field except as momentary visitors. As a result they do not understand the amount of political authority that must be used to overcome peasant resistance to change if economic development is to succeed. This book attempts to better identify the barriers to economic development in nations with large peasant populations.about the authorRONALD E. SEAVOY is professor emeritus of history at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio and the author of many books about agriculture and economic development.