Sanitation in Developing Countries

edited by A. Pacey. xiv + 238 pages, illustrated. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., One Wiley Drive, Somerset, New Jersey 08873. 1978. $25.00

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  • Division of Environmental Health Engineering Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205
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The foreword to this book gives to the reader a clue as to what he might expect between the covers. The book grew out of the international meeting on non-sewered waste disposal held at Pembroke College, Oxford, from 5–9 July 1977. It is, therefore, a potpourri of papers presented at the meeting, albeit carefully edited. The writers of the foreword stated that “many of the papers show developing thoughts and concepts and incomplete data. Inevitably, therefore, this book loses in roundedness and balance what it gains in immediacy. The reader should take it as an interim statement and not as the definitive account of a stable subject; therein lies its interest.”

The tone of the book was set early by Abel Wolman who said, “Search for the perfect well pump or perfect privy may well characterize sanitary history. We are left with the uncomfortable conclusion, long predictable, that no such devices really exist or can be devised.”