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Judith Shapiro directs the Dual Masters in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development for the School of International Service at American University. Her website is judithshapiro.com

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Revolutionens son (1983) 383 exemplar


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Textbook for a Classroom

Author Judith Shapiro has collected a tremendous amount of information, culling from newspapers and blogs in order to inform "China's Environmental Challenges." What is left is a book that is for students and theorists, replete with academic and sociological jargon.

Readers expecting on-the-ground reporting, interviews, or case studies will be disappointed. Shapiro clearly knows her subject very well, but it is presented as a warehouse of information, devoid of humans. Having long passed my scholarly days, I found this book pedantic. Perhaps this is my fault because I expected more reporting and less academic shoptalk.… (mer)
mvblair | Aug 8, 2020 |
Isabel Hilton, editor of the website China Dialogue has chosen to discuss Mao’s War Against Nature by Judith Shapiro on FiveBooks as one of the top five on her subject -China’s Environmental Crisis, saying that:

“…Mao’s catastrophic belief that with the correct political and scientific approach, there are no limits to natural resources….Mao believed the theories of Lysenko: that man is in charge of nature; that nature is there to be exploited and that anything at all can be achieved with the right political attitude and a scientific approach. Well, they called it a ‘scientific’ approach, but actually it was very bad science indeed. Lysenko’s theories produced probably the worst famine in human history. In China, between the late 50s and early 60s, between 30 and 80 million people starved to death.

Now, the abusive element of that is that nobody could argue against what Mao believed, what Mao dictated; everyone was too terrified to complain, to protest, to argue against it. And if they did, you know, they didn’t last very long. So the craziest ideas were put into practice. An awful lot of the damage that has been done to China was done during that Maoist period of millenarian socialism. For instance, they lost about 35 per cent of the grassland in Qinghai because Mao ordered that they should plough the grasslands and plant wheat – and when people said, you can’t plant wheat there, they were labelled counter-revolutionary. People were ordered to plough the grasslands, the top soil then blew away, so the wheat did not grow and the harvest failed. So they created desert. In fact, they’d been creating desert for a very long time, but it was a particularly accelerated period of creating desert which was this absolutely poisonous combination of political dictatorship and crazy science.”

The full interview is available here: http://fivebooks.com/interviews/isabel-hilton-on-chinas-environmental-crisis
… (mer)
FiveBooks | Apr 23, 2010 |


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