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Drawing on experience in lands as diverse as the Ivory Coast, Singapore, the Punjab, and China's coastal rim, the authors, professors of sociology at City University of New York, explore solutions to poverty and despotism in the Third World.
They show how runaway population, ignorance, corruption, and mismanagement offer opportunities to idealogues of the Islamic renaissance, utopian socialism, or classical capitalism. They then demonstrate a more viable and palatable solution which, in some regions, already has created a high rate of economic growth, literacy, and health, while maintaining an open, stable political system under the rule of law.
Here are concrete examples in Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, and the newly prosperous cities of Asia, where advances in agriculture, imaginative industrialism, investment in human resources, and a resort to dialogue rather than dictatorship have led to escape from poverty without yielding the ideologically rigid tyrannies.