Mass Starvation

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Member Reviews

Thank you Alex de Waal. I remember way back in the 1960's being told we could feed the world- and that seems to be true on a certain level. We need better land management for farming. But overall, politics creates far more famine that agriculture. Wars are horrible on societies. I'm not convinced global warming is going to induce mass starvation. So I'm pinning it on other humans being horrible and starving other humans. Bullies are everywhere.  Great book and a must read.
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Polity Press tend to have fantastic writers who explore fascinating and timely topics and I am pleased to say that "Mass Starvation" by Alex de Waal is another success. I look forward to continuing my love affair with Polity in the future!

This is an uncomfortable subject matter that we all need to learn more about. As de Waal alludes to - famines are man-made and can be placed in the same category as genocide. They are not simply about a lack of food sources but a variety of political and policy issues that result in food not reaching those who most need it - this can be deliberate or accidental but either way it is never as simple as it appears. The book references the cases of the war in Yemen and that in Syria. We all see the pictures on television of Yemeni people suffering so badly from malnutrition that some of them end up dying but I don't think many people really understand the complexity of the issue. Most people just assume it's solely about food resources. De Waal goes some way to addressing the REAL causes of famine and it makes for a rather distressing and depressing read but one I learned from and enjoyed nevertheless. Those who use mass starvation as a weapon of war should be prosecuted, maybe then they will think twice about it. That said, the issue of famine has improved in recent years and they have become less frequent and less severe which gives us all a beacon of hope for the future. 

Many thanks to Polity Press for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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