Age old, heartfelt, and quaint: Paul Theroux on the desire to aid Africa and why "Westerners running amok" do more harm than good.
"Never have so many people, so many agencies, so many stratagems, so much money been deployed to improve Africa -- and yet the majority of the movers are part-timers, merely dropping in, setting up a scheme in the much-mocked 'the-safari-that-does-good' manner, then returning to their real lives, as hard-charging businessmen, Hollywood actors, benevolent billionaires, atoning ex-politicians, MacArthur geniuses, or rock stars in funny hats. It's not hard to imagine the future tombstones of the Clintons and Bono and Gates, and many others bitten by the eleemosynary itch, chiseled with the words, Telescopic Philanthropist. The farther away the donors are, the shorter their visits, and the more passionate their feelings." -- Paul Theroux, Barron's