Culture, Ecology, and Politics in Gabon’s Rainforest

Author: Reed, Michael C. and Barnes, James F., editors
Year:2002
Pages:460
ISBN:0-7734-6866-8
978-0-7734-6866-5
Price:279.95
This edited work by Dr. Reed and Dr. Barnes is a strong collection of essays on Gabon from leading scholars of the region and is a collection that truly lives up to its professed goal of presenting interdisciplinary approaches. It discusses issues such as contemporary politics, AIDS and Ebola, environmental policies, food production crises, and the history of pre-colonial Gabon.

Reviews

“This work, a strong collection of essays on Gabon from leading scholars of the region, is a collection that truly lives up to its professed goal of presenting interdisciplinary approaches…. Contemporary politics, AIDS and Ebola, environmental policies, food production crises, and the history of pre-colonial Gabon are among the wide variety of subjects covered with clarity. Barnes and Reed’s work is an indispensable guide for those who wish to learn more about Gabon…. adds immeasurably to the paucity of academic research on this Central African state. While noting Gabon’s exceptional qualities, this study also provides contributions to the larger literature on colonial and post-colonial Africa on such diverse topics as French foreign policy, agricultural development, and demographic decline. The writers laudably combine their firm attachment to the country with sharp research and analysis.” – Dr. Jeremy Rich, Cabrini College

“Thanks to M. C. Reed, J. F. Barnes, et al., the Anglophone world now has the most comprehensive, updated, cross-disciplinary study of Gabon’s past, and present with some sound advice for the future. The book covers Gabon’s vast natural resources and how they affect the political environment, and Gabon’s agricultural potential. A comprehensive section beginning with pre-history ends with the fairest analysis of Dr. Albert Schweitzer I have seen after 45 years of following his career and his critics. The section on politics and society also brings together hitherto unpublished material that ties in anthropology, oil, health and political science. The impact of President Omar Bongo on all aspect of Gabonese life and how he has dealt with France and the USA is especially important for those concerned about contemporary Gabon and what the future holds.” – Dr. Henry H. Bucher, Jr.

Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; Introduction
Part One: A Dramatic Natural Environment
· Resource Use in Gabon: Sustainability or Biotic Impoverishment? (Thomas O. McShane and Erica McShane Caluzi)
· Libreville’s Evolving Forest Dependencies (Theodore Trefon)
· Gabon’s Agricultural Dilemma (Howard W. Anderson)
Part Two: Historical Cases and Issues
· Toward a History of Pre-Colonial Gabon: Farmers and Forest-Specialists along the Middle Ogooué River, 500 BC-1000 AD (Kairn Klieman)
· Reexamining Population Decline along the Gabon Estuary: A Case Study of the Bakèlè (François Ngolet)
· Albert Schweitzer in Gabon (Steven E. G. Melamed and Antonia Melamed)
· In the Shadow of the Rainforest: What History for Which Gabon? (Christopher J. Gray)
Part Three: Politics and Society
· La Coupe Familiale at Ndjolé (Michael C. Reed)
· The Petroleum-Dominated Economy (David E. Gardinier)
· Public Health in Contemporary Gabon (Jean Marie Milleliri and Carol Tévi-Benissan)
· The Bongo Phenomenon: Power in Gabon (James F. Barnes)
Part Four: Conclusion – Gabon in 2002 and Beyond
Bibliography; Indices