Wednesday, June 27

Travel As A Political Act: Part 2

As I really did enjoy this book, I was even more impressed that a travel novel, written by an approachable individual with accessible language, finally presented many of the difficult topics that have been debated within the academic and practical spaces of tourism for decades.  One of the first papers I wrote for an basic introduction to travel class concerned the sex trade and the use of young girls in countries as captured sex slaves for the purposes of pleasing middle and upper class Canadian, American and European travelers in order to draw and increase tourism.  I believe my professor handed me back my paper and said, 'interesting topic'.  That was it.  I think he was surprised about the topic and the criticisms that were evident in the paper.  I wish I still had it, I would give it another read, redo and update as sixteen years later, these countries continue to enslave young girls, boys, women and sometimes men as sex slaves but now have begun to reward them and provide them with an understanding that they are contributing greatly to their country's economy in the best way they possibly could (even scarier really).  Well, in my opinion this is crap and the institutionalization of the poor and down-trodded through ideologies of slavery, misogyny and seeing women/people as sex objects, but I digress...again...

Rick Steves within the last chapter of his book Travel As A Political Act shares with following idea with the reader then proceeds to share a list of books he has read that has influence his opinions about the economics of poverty and the politics of power and corporations.  I am sure he would be OK with me sharing this quote and list (even though I don't know him at all personally) and I have added to each book title a link to the book, a related website, or the authors webpage.  Voila!:

"Read books that explain the economic and political basis of issues you've stubbled onto in your travels.  A basic understanding of the economics of poverty, the politics of the empire, and the power of corporations are life skills that give you a foundation to better understand what you experience in your travels.  Information that mainstream media considers "subversive" won't come to you.  You need to reach out for it.  The following are a few of the books that have shaped and inspired my thinking over the years" (p. 203):

Arthur Simon

Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Future in Our Hands

Manufacturing Consent

War Against the Poor: Low-Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith

Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes

The United States of Europe

The European Dream 

The End of Poverty

Several of these shall be added to my reading list as I have only read the last one while I was living in London.  Off I go...

No comments:

Post a Comment