On the Edge of the Primeval Forest

by Albert Schweitzer | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0006224873 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wing6of8wing of Silver Spring, Maryland USA on 12/22/2010
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wing6of8wing from Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Wednesday, December 22, 2010
"In this book, Dr. Schweitzer gives his reasons for renouncing his academic future in Europe to qualify as a doctor, and he describes the building and growth of his hospital at the edge of the dam disease-ridden western Equatorial forest of Africa. It has become a classic of its kind because of its simple sincerity, its understanding of the primitive mind, its accounts of the triumphs and tragedies of his enterprise, and above all because of the personality of one of the most remarkable figures of modern times."

Well, the phrase "the primitive mind" is rather dated, but hopefully Dr. Schweitzer's book is not.

Journal Entry 2 by wing6of8wing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I think I expected more, certainly a more enlightened viewpoint on the native Africans, given Dr. Schweitzer's Nobel Peace Prize and the general connotations associated with his name. I suppose he was more enlightened than a great many others for his time, which is sad, since it was only 100 years ago. "The maintenance of the native population must be the first object of any sound colonial policy." Towards the end of the book, he did sem to grasp and express the concept that colonization of Africa (and other parts of the world) was not necessarily a good thing, certainly for the natives. "If a record could be compiled of all that has happened between the white and the coloured races, it would make a book containing numbers of pages, referring to recent as well as to early times, which the reader would have to turn over unread because their contents would be too terrible. We and our civilization are burdened, really, with a great debt. We are not free to confer benefits on these men, or not, as we please; it is our duty. Anything we give them is not benevolence, but atonement. For every one who scattered injury some one ought to go out to take help, and when we have done all that is in our power, we shall not have atoned for the thousandth part of our guilt."

Journal Entry 3 by wing6of8wing at National Arboretum in Washington, District of Columbia USA on Monday, June 06, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (6/4/2011 UTC) at National Arboretum in Washington, District of Columbia USA


This little book, and it's companion More from the Primeval Forest, were left (carefully protected in a release bag) in the cleft of a tree in a courtyard at the Bonsai Exhibit at the National Arboretum in Washington D.C. This release is part of the Year of the Forest commemorative releases.

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