Magazine article New Internationalist

[Alternative World]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Alternative World]

Article excerpt

When it comes to ambitious tasks, Nares Craig could not be faulted for timidity. In Alternative World he casts his net extremely wide, with mixed results.

His encyclopaedic grasp of the world's ills and injustices provides a useful, fact-packed reference. But the cumulative effect is somewhat brain-numbing. It's a relief, then, to come to the second half of the book which lays out his utopian vision of how things ought to be. Craig is prepared to stick out his neck and the sections on money and politicians - and how we should abolish both - are thought-provoking. But as with so many utopian visions this one does not escape Orwellian overtones. References to 'councils of representatives' who will decide on everything ranging from the price of beans to what goes into newspapers, don't help. And holding up China's agriculture in the 1950s and 1960s as a model of how to deal with hunger is hardly convincing in the light of more recent information on how Mao's policies actually caused famine. …

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