Summary and Critical Commentary (1)
October 17, 2012
Instructor: Bharat Punjabi
Politics is who gets what, when, and how. The first chapter takes us to the midst of a war in 1942 where two forces invaded Egypt. Only one of the two forces was human. Erwin Rommel crossed the border towards Cairo. However, the British army tried had to stop him and four months later they counterattacked. Rommel defeated the British at Tobruk and raced into Egypt. At that time, the war between the Germans and the Soviet Union entered its second year where the Germans lost. Meanwhile, the other side of the country was invaded by “Anopheles Gambiae”, a mosquito that carried the malignant form of the malaria. The disease reached most cities in Egypt and within three years, it was estimated that between one or two hundred thousand people died. These two forces interacted to create a third threat to the country, which was a shortage of food. Four fifths of egypts agriculture needed chemical fertilizers. However, they were cut off by the outbreak of war. The lack of fertilizers caused the yield of wheat and other crops to drop by a quarter. Egyptian farmers used six hundred thousand tons of fertilizer a year. However, these fertilizers were cut off because of war. This lack of fertilizers caused a decrease by one quarter in the production of wheat and other crops. Therefore, the government presented food rationing to supply the British troops and the cities. The government also introduced acreage controls in order to force landowners to switch half the country fields to cultivation of foods rather than cotton fields. Many elements caused disaster between 1942 and 1944, which led to the most powerful transformations of that century. The first element was the damming of the river. Schemes made in order to block the flow of the main or large rivers were becoming the country’s largest projects that promised agricultural development and technical progress. These...
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