107 ing, in part, to blame adherence to traditional customs for the lack of economic growth. He does not discuss current "development" activities (especially as instituted by the French in Mayotte) and has no positive proposals to deal with what, perhaps justifiably, he calls an "impossible dilemma". The book is marred by numerous errors of omission and commission, created in part by the author's unequal and relatively superficial first-hand experience of the islands (a total of 2 months in 1974), his willingness to generalize in the absence of data, and his ignorance (especially odd in a book with pretentions of bibliographic ex- haustiveness) of many key sources, especially North American ones. Had he read my own work (which, contrary to the dust jacket blurb, precedes his by several years as a book in English on the Comoros) or that of Jon Breslar or the Ottenheimers he might have salvaged his chapter on Comoran society which is full of half-truths and nine- teenth century anthropology. But even these omissions can't explain his grossest er- rors, for example, the assumption that Islamic festivals occur according to the Euro- pean solar calendar (!) or that, because he didn't observe them during
Journal of Asian and African Studies (in 2002 continued as African and Asian Studies) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1985
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