|A Quiet Violence
View from a Bangladesh Village
Betsy Hartmann and James K. Boyce
ISBN 984 05 1099 1 1983 297pp 215x136mm HB Tk.400.00 US$25.00
This book gives names and faces to some of the world's poorest people, the inhabitants of a Bangladesh village. Although no microcosm can perfectly mirror the whole, an indepth exploration of one place can reveal the human dimensions of the larger picture.
The authors lived at Katni, a typical Bangladesh village, in a hut they built themselves to find out what life at the margin in the Third World meant. This book is a record of that experience: their environment, the people they met, social relations, land distribution and agriculture, family planning, trade, linkages of village with city, politics, attitudes to change. The intimate relationship they developed with the villagers with whom they lived provided them with vivid insights into village life, the motivations and ambitions of the villagers, their social and occupational organization.
For anyone interested on what village life in the Third World really means this is a moving social document; for sociologists, economist and social planners an important micro study of the impact of development on village life ken both from the human and statistical perspectives.
Betsy Hartmann and James Boyce lived in Bangladesh and India for several years. They have written for numerous journals of development issues in Asia, notably Le Monde Diplomatique, The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, and The New Internationalist. Their previous book was entitled Needless Hunger.
“Hartmann and Boyce, unlike the fly-in-fly-out ‘experts’ of the World Bank, cared enough about hunger and poverty to live with the poor, then to become a voice for the voiceless. A Quiet Violence will find an important place in the honourable, though sadly limited tradition of compassionate sociology. Here, in microcosm, is a fascinating, carefully constructed account of the way life works in a million Third World villages; a book about, by and for fellow-humans.”
- Susan George
author of How Other Half Dies
“A Quiet Violence is a book written by insiders, able to see as well as a Bangladeshi the social mechanisms which rule village, town and country. It will be important for readers in the First World to know this book, as they will derive an accurate picture of what Bangladeshi life really is like.”
- Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury