By T, Staffer of De Birhan Media08-1-2011
Point Four Program was a technical assistance program for “developing countries” by former US President Harry S. Truman on January 20, 1949 and was the fourth foreign policy objective mentioned in the speech. Amanda Kay McVety, Assistant Professor of History at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, is one of the few scholars who extensively research the impact and histories of Point Four in Ethiopia. In one of her two papers I read,“Pursuing Progress: Point Four in Ethiopia” she concludes “This vision (Point Four/resulting Ethiopian vision of the scope of human and political perfectibility) played a crucial role in the revolution of 1974 and it would play one again in the creation of a new government in 1991. Today, centuries of aristocracy have been replaced by a democracy in progress—not unlike the United States. Harry S Truman would be proud.” I proudly disagree with the above conclusion. Now Amanda’s new book that “challenges the idea that foreign aid promotes development” is going to join the market on March 21, 2012. Enlightened Aid: U.S. Development as Foreign Policy in Ethiopia , is the title of her new book. The book’s description reads,
Enlightened Aid is a unique history of foreign aid. The book begins with the modern concept of progress in the Scottish Enlightenment, follows the development of this concept in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century economics and anthropology, describes its transformation from a concept into a tool of foreign policy, and ends with the current debate about foreign aid’s utility.
The book published by Oxford University Press, USA has 298 pages and is priced $74.00. Enlightened Aid also features that “Ethiopia is a key player in the story from the very beginning; it is not simply a recipient of Western ideas and money-it challenges those ideas and it manipulates the distribution of that money.” Amanda had published two other papers in same topic entitled “Pursuing Progress: Point Four in Ethiopia,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 32, No. 3, June 2008 and “The Skinner Mission: Images of Ethiopia in the Progressive Era,” The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 10:2, April 2011. Enlightened Aid’s book description asserts,
Using Ethiopia as a case study, Enlightened Aid examines the struggle between foreign aid-for-diplomacy and foreign aid-for-development. Point Four’s creators believed that aid could be both at the same time. The history of U.S. aid to Ethiopia suggests otherwise.
Chapters included in the book are INTRODUCTION: The American Answer,CHAPTER ONE: Improving Nations, CHAPTER TWO: A Global Economy, CHAPTER THREE: Strategic Ethiopia, CHAPTER FOUR: Truman’s Fourth Point, CHAPTER FIVE: The Ethiopian Experiment, CHAPTER SIX: The Development Decade and CHAPTER SEVEN: Rethinking the American Answer.
Once the book is available in the market De Birhan will publish a full book review.