Return to Home Page

February 25, 2013

Michael Moynihan on the political contradictions of travel guidebooks

“There is an almost Orientalist presumption [on the part of travel guidebooks] that the citizens of places like Cuba or Afghanistan have made a choice in rejecting globalization and consumerism. From the perspective of the disaffected Westerner, poverty is seen as enviable, a pure existence unsullied by capitalism. [Lonely Planet: Cuba co-author Brendan] Sainsbury refers to Cuban food as “organic” and praises the Castro brothers’ “intellectual foresight [that] has prompted such eco-friendly practices as nutrient recycling, soil and water management and land-use planning.” Meager food rations and the 1950s cars that plod through Havana’s streets, however, don’t represent authenticity or some tropical version of the Western mania for “artisanal” products, but, rather, failed economic policy. It’s as much of a lifestyle choice as female circumcision is in Sudan.”
–Michael Moynihan, “Leftist Planet,” Foreign Policy, Sept/Oct 2012

Posted by | Comments (1) 
Category: Travel Quote of the Day


One Response to “Michael Moynihan on the political contradictions of travel guidebooks”

  1. DEK Says:

    A traveler has the opportunity to see how societies work where things we take for granted are not the case: where private property is not secure, or private economic activity cannot proceed without government permission, or self-defense or the free expression of unpopular views is not allowed, even when this is done for high-minded reasons or with democratic consent. The freedom and prosperity of the West is the result of getting a number of things right and a traveler has the opportunity to see what happens in places where one or more of those things weren’t gotten right.

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Roger: Way to go, Rease. I like your story, and how things have worked out well with...

Margie: This is an important article for everyone to read at this time of remembering...

David Burlison: Virgin Islands travel advice from a local.. travelaskthelocals.yolasi...

Elaine Odgers Norling: After a year and a half I have finished my first draft of our...

JAY KIM: Hi, my name is Jay. I would like to purchase the passpoprt protector. Could...

Alun: due out in December 2014, self publication, not in the shops...

Roger: I’ll second that.

brandi: One more thing people the bible is about the planets and massive events from...

brandi: And for those of you that want to know you are the cross road if any one wants...

brandi: First off yes you can make a deal with the devil but whats important here is...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Retch-22 Laos in the time of cholera
Vagabonding Case Study: Raymond Walsh
Vagabonding Case Study: Rease Kirchner
Vagabonding Case Study: Elizabeth Kelsey Bradley
For expatriates, America-bashing is a kind of recreational activity
Veterans Day and Historic Military Sites
Easing In: How to Lessen Culture Shock in new Surroundings
The Future of Travel?
Bad days and their positive impact
Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail From Istanbul to India


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts