The Elusive Granary: Herder, Farmer, and State in Northern Kenya - Peter D. LittleCambridge, New York, Port Chester, Melbourne & Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1992, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper which is heavily faded at the spine. Previous owners' name to the head of the title page. Extensive pencil underlining and marginalia throughout the text, from the working library of Paul Spencer, one of the leading British social anthropologists of his generation, from whose estate this was acquired.
Number 73 in the series. Laid in 5pp ms. by Paul Spencer dated 1992. Contains: Black & white photographs; Diagrams; Maps; Tables; References;
From the cover: “This book examines the social and political dimensions of Africa’s current food and environmental crises. Written by an anthropologist, it focuses on the changes and the problems faced during this century by one particular ethnic group; the II Chamus (Njemps) of Kenya, and traces the area’s transformation from a food-surplus ‘granary’ in the late nineteenth century to one that is currently dependent on food imports and aid. By documenting the history, social structure, and ecology of the area, Peter Little is able to show that the crisis among the region’s herders is rooted in processes that preceded the devastating droughts of the past decade. Drought is in fact a “normal” state of affairs in semiarid Kenya, but the processes that have inhibited herders from adequately coping with it are not. These trends include growth in absentee herd ownership, which competes for local pastures; engagement in wage labour, which constrains local labour supplies; and a form of sedentary pastoralism that overuses certain range areas while under using others.
The author analyses the relationships between social, political, and ecological variables, and he treats topics such as land management, food production, marketing, state policy making, and labour organization in an integrated fashion. The concluding discussion on the contradictions of development shows how little government and foreign donor programs have done to alleviate poverty and underdevelopment in the area.
This study challenges many of the stereotypes about African social life, agriculture, and ecology, and it will be of interest to anthropologists, academics and practitioners in development studies, historians, ecologists, and geographers.”