Seavoy, Ronald E. 1931-
Seavoy, Ronald E. 1931-
Born July 6, 1931, in New York, NY; son of Gordon E. (a business executive) and Catherine (a homemaker) Seavoy. Education: University of Michigan, B.S., 1953, M.A., 1963, Ph.D., 1969. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Nominal Christian." Hobbies and other interests: "Attending international geological meetings with attendant field trips."
Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, professor of history, 1965-91; Indiana University—Bloomington, visiting professor, 1992-99. Worked as exploration geologist for Canadian Johns Manville, International Nickel Co., Alcoa, Burwest, Western Nuclear, and Cleveland Cliffs Mining. Military service: U.S. Army, 1953-55.
Organization of American Historians, Society of Economic Geologists, Institute of Lake Superior Geology.
The Origins of the American Business Corporation, 1784-1855: Broadening the Concept of Public Service during Industrialization, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1982.
Famine in Peasant Societies, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1986.
Famine in East Africa: Food Production and Food Policies, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1989.
The American Peasantry: Southern Agricultural Labor and Its Legacy, 1850-1995; A Study in Political Economy, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1998.
Subsistence and Economic Development, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2000.
A New Exploration of the Canadian Arctic, Hancock House Publishers (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), 2002.
Origins and Growth of the Global Economy: From the Fifteenth Century Onward, Praeger Publishers (Westport, CT), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Cultural Geography, Economic Geology, Philippine Geographical Journal, Old Northwest, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Michigan History, Indonesia, Journal of Tropical Geography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and Business History Review.
Ronald E. Seavoy told CA: "My writings are based on my experience (observations) in peasant societies. I lived for seven continuous months in one peasant village on Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia.
"My books challenge three assumptions of economists: that all persons are money-motivated; that all people measure their social security by money incomes; and that economic development can be achieved by economic policies alone.
"Peasants are not money-motivated. As long as they control land use, money is secondary to their welfare. They acquire target sums of money for specific purposes. After that they cease laboring. Economists have confused monetization with income.
"Control of land use (communal tenure) equalizes subsistence opportunities; and as long as peasant communities control land use (and sharing of harvests in poor crop years), there are huge restraints on households producing assured food surpluses for market sale.
"The exercise of political power is primary in the process of economic development. Political power is necessary to enforce commercializing policies. The best form of political power is disguised and is delegated to commercially motivated landowners. The term political economy is infrequently used by development economists because the primacy is politics.
"The book A New Exploration of the Canadian Arctic is a travel adventure that recounts my experience in the western Canadian Arctic while working for the International Nickel Company during the summers between 1958 and 1961. The other books deal with political economy: the relationship between governance and economic development. The starting point is food production. No nation can industrialize without being able to feed cities in all crop years. This requires commercial agriculture."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Seavoy, Ronald E., A New Exploration of the Canadian Arctic, Hancock House Publishers (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), 2002.
American Review of Canadian Studies, spring, 2005, Rebecca Mancuso and Joseph J. Mancuso, review of A New Exploration of the Canadian Arctic, p. 192.