Ray Watters

Journeys Towards Progress: Essays of a Geographer On Development and Change in Oceania

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Journeys Towards Progress is both a valuable study of the emerging world of 20th-century Oceania and the Pacific Rim, and an extended reflection on a scholarly life’s work. Over 50 years of close observation has produced important studies of Oceanic countries including Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Framing comments and substantial new introductory and concluding essays put these particular histories in wider contexts and look forward to the future.

‘The singular value of Journeys towards Progress is that it is an exemplary record of the Pacific in the second half of the twentieth century as interpreted by a person who had the capacity to work at both village and government level and report what he found in the context of the social science theories of his time.’ —John McKinnon

Ray Watters was for many years before his retirement Professor of Geography at Victoria University. His many publications include a collection of historical geography essays, Land and Society in New Zealand (1965), the landmark book Koro: Economic Development and Social Change in Fiji (1969), a widely quoted and respected book on Latin America, Poverty and Peasantry in Peru’s Southern Andes, 1963–90 (1994), and a co-edited collection on Asia-Pacific: New geographies of the Pacific Rim (1998).

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