Famine: A Short History
A Paperback edition by Cormac O Grada in English (Aug 29, 2010)
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Short Description: Famine remains one of the worst calamities that can befall a society. Mass starvation--whether it is inflicted by drought or engineered by misguided or genocidal economic... Read more
Famine remains one of the worst calamities that can befall a society. Mass starvation--whether it is inflicted by drought or engineered by misguided or genocidal economic policies--devastates families, weakens the social fabric, and undermines political stability. Cormac Ó Gráda, the acclaimed author who chronicled the tragic Irish famine in books likeBlack '47 and Beyond, here traces the complete history of famine from the earliest records to today.
Combining powerful storytelling with the latest evidence from economics and history, Ó Gráda explores the causes and profound consequences of famine over the past five millennia, from ancient Egypt to the killing fields of 1970s Cambodia, from the Great Famine of fourteenth-century Europe to the famine in Niger in 2005. He enriches our understanding of the most crucial and far-reaching aspects of famine, including the roles that population pressure, public policy, and human agency play in causing famine; how food markets can mitigate famine or make it worse; famine's long-term demographic consequences; and the successes and failures of globalized disaster relief. Ó Gráda demonstrates the central role famine has played in the economic and political histories of places as different as Ukraine under Stalin, 1940s Bengal, and Mao's China. And he examines the prospects of a world free of famine.
This is the most comprehensive history of famine available, and is required reading for anyone concerned with issues of economic development and world poverty.
- Cormac O Grada
- Princeton University Press
- Publication date
- Aug 29, 2010
- Product dimensions
- 140 x 217 x 23mm
List of Figures and Tables xi Acknowledgments xv Chapter I: The Third Horseman 1 The Ultimate Check 8 Time and Place 13 How Common Were Famines in the Past? 25 Remembering Famine 39 Chapter II: The Horrors of Famine 45 Crime 52 Slavery 56 Prostitution, Infanticide, and Child Abandonment 59 Cannibalism 63 Chapter III: Prevention and Coping 69 Famine Foods 73 Country Misers and Calculating Merchants 78 Migration 81 Chapter IV: Famine Demography 90 Hierarchies of Suffering 90 How Many Died? 92 Gender and Age 98 Missing Births 102 What Do People Die of during Famines? 108 Long-term Impacts 121 Chapter V: Markets and Famines 129 Profiteers 129 French Economistes and Adam Smith 137 Markets and Famines in Practice 143 Transport 155 Conclusion 157 Chapter VI: Entitlements: Bengal and Beyond 159 Bengal 159 Food Supply and Market Failure 166 Winners and Losers 178 Conclusion 184 Chapter VII: Public and Private Action 195 Feeding the Starving 195 Means of Relief 210 Corruption 216 NGOs and the Globalization of Relief 218 Famine Relief as State Aid 225 Chapter VIII: The "Violence of Government" 229 War by Another Means 229 The USSR 233 The Chinese Famine of 1959-61 241 Ethiopia and North Korea 254 Chapter IX: An End to Famine? 259 Agricultural Trends 262 Climate and Desertification 269 Where Backwardness Persists 274 A Stitch in Time 278 References 283 Index 319