Short Reviews

Manpower for Development: Perspectives on Five Continents

by Eli Ginzberg
Praeger, 331 pp., $3.95 (paper)

A Singular Iniquity: The Campaigns of Josephine Butler

by Glen Petrie
Viking, 317 pp., $7.95

A Man Holding an Acoustic Panel

by David Shapiro
Dutton, 64 pp., $2.95 (paper)

Selling Death: Cigarette Advertising and Public Health

by Thomas Whiteside
Liveright, 160 pp., $5.95

A Cook’s tour of the world’s manpower policies, largely composed of old speeches, lectures, symposia, and chapters of previous books by Ginzberg. The book surveys Japan, Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Ceylon, India, Egypt, Israel, Ethiopia, Eastern Europe, Sweden, Venezuela, the Bahamas, and Canada, of which only Japan and Israel are seriously treated. Ginzberg is enthusiastic about the participation of women in the labor force: he notes that Japanese women work for half of male wages and regrets that “the supply of low-cost adolescent female labor is drying up….” More neutrally, he recommends that Israel expand its skilled labor supply and concentrate on science-based industries.

The problems for each country of poor health, poverty, agricultural underemployment, and ill-trained managers are largely rendered in the same formulae. The style is distracted: widely divergent topics are jumbled in one paragraph, the logic of first sentences is often unpursued, and random trivialities abound concerning traditions, democracy, and the market place. One is hard pressed to find their relation to the text but in his conclusion Ginzberg draws the following lessons: “Development policy must be unique.” “Manpower represents the key constraint on growth.” “Rapid economic growth is an illusion.” “Political stability comes first.” “Government bureaucracies have limited capability.” “Capital cannot be ignored.” “Neglect of agriculture is costly.” “There are only a few basic criteria for progress,” and last and inevitably, “Talent is the key to enhancing the quality of life.”

Victorian sexual mores have recently undergone much psychological and social analysis—e.g., Steven Marcus’s The Other Victorians—with special attention to the undercurrent of hysteria which characterized social attitudes toward prostitution. Petrie’s forthright and admiring biography of Josephine Butler, the charming and intelligent English matron who led a one-woman crusade for repeal of the Contagious Disease Acts of the 1860s, adds a minor but interesting chapter to the history of the shady underside of Victorian morality. Wife of a clergyman-scholar, she was a lady of impeccable virtue who by background and breeding ought to have been insulated from the epidemic squalor of prostitution. Instead she, like Gladstone, plucked the unfortunate girls off the streets and took them home for tea, sympathy, and rehabilitation; unlike the Prime Minister, however, her compassion was free of galling righteousness.

Her opposition to the Acts—which mandated humiliating and sometimes brutal medical examinations for suspected fallen women—was waged with unflagging zeal and considerable success in a day when nice upper-class ladies simply didn’t get involved in such grimy issues. Astutely she saw behind the reformist façade of this legislation a class-biased infringement of civil liberties and a formidable legal bulwark for sexual double standards. Petrie records the progress of Mrs. Butler’s cause and the scurrilous libel the suffered without looking deeply into her character (she was a fitful hypochondriac afflicted with guilt over the death of a young daughter), but his biography shows strong feminist sympathies, is amply researched and crammed with telling Victorian detail.

Shapiro has several related styles all devolving on a wonderfully assured grasp of language as an…

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