AFRICAN STUDIES AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS,
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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A book review written for Africa Report is reproduced. The book is Economic Transition in Africa, edited by Melville J. Herskovits and Mitchell Harwitz and published at Evanston, Ill., by Northwestern University Press in l964. The volume is a collection of papers presented at the Conference on Indigenous and Induced Elements in the Economics of Subsaharan Africa, held at Northwestern University in 1961. The book testifies to the difficulty of achieving an integrated approach to the study of African problems, due to what can be called the dilemma of regional studies. While agreeing with Herskovits that the research value of an area lies in the fact that it affords a locus for the study of problems, it is hard to question the existence in each of us of an inescapable tendency to think largely along disciplinary lines and to balk when called upon to do creative work in another field. Consequently, it comes as no surprise to fine that this volume, while containing much useful material, remains a collection of largely disjoint papers.