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Sawyer, Suzana. Crude chronicles: indigenous politics, multinational oil, and neoliberalism in Ecuador. Duke University , 2004. 294p bibl index afp ISBN 0-8223-3283-3, $74.95; ISBN 0-8223-3272-8 pbk, $21.95 . Reviewed in 2005apr CHOICE.
Sawyer (anthropology, Univ. of California, Davis) presents a damning critique of neoliberal policies as played out in a Third World dependent economy. Based on field research in the Ecuadorian Amazon in the 1990s, her book recounts how the grassroots Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Pastaza (OPIP) challenged multinational corporations that sought to drill for oil in its territory. OPIP organized a successful march in 1992 to publicly denounce petroleum policies, built alliances with peasants to challenge changes in a 1994 agrarian reform law, and inserted itself into discussions on constructions of national identities in the 1998 constituent assembly. The result is an excellent example of politically engaged research in which Sawyer does not present herself as a neutral observer but as an activist deeply committed to the rights of indigenous peoples. Implicitly and perhaps inadvertently, this book underscores the fact that social movements succeed only when they build successful alliances with outside supporters. The book is surprisingly free of jargon and will be a seminal work to anyone desiring a more profound understanding of how indigenous movements in Ecuador in the 1990s became a model for social movement organizations. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. -- M. Becker, Truman State University

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