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Impossible Missions? German Economic, Military, and Humanitarian Efforts in Africa BY NINA BERMAN Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2004. ISBN 0-8032-1334-4. xii + 271 pp.
Nina Berman's book is divided into an introduction (1-21) and two main parts. "Part One: Prototypes" comprises three chapters, entitled "The Modernizing Mission" (25-59), "The Civilizing Mission" (61-97), and "The Globalizing Mission" (99-136), which present an analysis of the African experiences of the engineer Max Eyth (1836-1906), the "Urwalddoktor" (bush doctor) Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), and the airplane pilot Ernst Udet (1896-1941) within the general context of Germano-African relations and in light of their consequences in the African countries in which these three men worked. "Part Two: Successors" treats in two chapters the relations of contemporary Germany (since the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification) with Africa: "Humanitarian Interventions: The German Army and Bodo Kirchhoff in Somalia" (139-73) and "Tourism: Repeat Visitors Turned Aid Workers in Kenya" (175-212). An appendix, "Statistics on German Tourism in Kenya" (219-33), follows that latter chapter, and the conclusion states the book's point and summarizes its essential theses.
In the introduction, the author justifies her choice of concepts such as "modernization," "civilization," "progress," "humanitarianism," and "tourism" in place of the ideas such as "alterity," "race," "hybridity," "ethnicity," "identity," or "feminism" that dominate in …