Under the Banyan Tree: A Population Scientist's Odyssey


In this concise, understandable and hard-hitting analysis of human affairs affected by population growth, Sheldon Segal lays out the problems and suggests the solutions. In topics ranging from global food supply, to environmental problems, to urbanization, he gives us his take on the importance of moving a society from high fertility to low fertility. By using the Banyan Tree as a metaphor for nature's classroom, often the only schoolroom in impoverished rural villages, Segalhighlights the role of education in uplifting women and reducing the birth rate. In the near future the world will require food for 3 billion more people - the major proportion of this population increase occurring in societies with current existing high levels of malnutrition. Dr Segal traces theevolution of the population movement from an emphasis on demographic issues to the pre-eminence of women's health and empowerment. The book includes an authoritative analysis of the biology of human reproduction and contraception, including the potential for new contraceptive methods for both women and men. Segal urges a coaliltion of concerned leadership in the field, reminding us that we face real antagnosists who are zealous opponents of population policy. Laced with entertaininganecdotes and eyewitness descriptions of key events of the last half of the 20th century, this is a remarkable account of the global transition to lower fertility, told by someone who has been both a participant and an observer in this historic epoch.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2003


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