In This Review

Villages
Villages
By Richard Critchfield
Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1981, 408 pp.

Critchfield, an American journalist who has spent the past 11 years living in villages in Asia, Africa and Latin America, believes that there is a "great change" taking place in them, especially in the Confucian societies of East Asia. Contraception is being widely practiced; modern scientific farming methods are spreading swiftly; the vast exodus from village to city is reversing ("though it may take some time until we have the figures to prove it"), and, finally, many of the peasant societies are being industrialized. (The reader should compare this account with Doak Barnett's far from optimistic views on the race between food and population in China [see above]). Still, even when all caveats have been entered, Critchfield's work is a landmark study and will be referred to for years to come.