The dramatic story of the Bushmen of the Kalahari is a cautionary tale about water in the twenty-first century–-and offers unexpected solutions for our time.
"We don’t govern water. Water governs us", writes James G. Workman. In Heart of Dryness, he chronicles the memorable saga of the famed Bushmen of the Kalahari–-remnants of one of the world’s most successful civilizations, today at the exact epicenter of Africa’s drought–-in their widely publicized recent battle with the government of Botswana, in the process of exploring the larger story of what many feel has become the primary resource battleground of the twenty-first century: the supply of water.
The Bushmen’s story could well prefigure our own. In the U.S., even the most upbeat optimists concede we now face an unprecedented water crisis. Each year, around the world, inadequate water kills more humans than AIDS, malaria, and all wars combined. Workman illuminates the present and coming tensions we will all face over water and shows how, from the remoteness of the Kalahari, an ancient and resilient people is showing the world a viable path through the encroaching Dry Age.
James G. Workman began his career as a journalist in Washington, D.C., for the New Republic, Washington Monthly, Utne Reader, Orion, and other publications. He was a speechwriter in the Clinton administration, working closely with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, and steering the "dambuster" campaign to tear down river-killing dams. He helped edit and launch the report of the World Commission on Dams, and spent two years filing dispatches on water scarcity in Africa, work which formed the basis of a NPR show and documentary. He is now a water consultant to politicians, businesses, aid agencies, development institutions, and conservation organizations on four continents.
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Added by pamgrange on July 28, 2009