Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in and Age of Plenty
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Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in and Age of Plenty

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  47 reviews
A powerful indictment of the economic, political, and social dynamics that perpetuate famine
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Published June 1st 2009 by PublicAffairs (first published 2008)
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written by journalists, more narratives than historical and factual information using scholarly sources
not much extensive focus on Western policies in history that have rendered poor countries poor and the structural factors underlying poverty
when they do mention policy, talks a little too much about agricultural/farm policy and food aid, overlooking or only mentioning briefly social factors, government, war, corruption--all the other things that influence starvation rather than simply the physi...more
If I could somehow choose one book that'd get your attention, It'd be this book.
Its impossible not finishing it. "Norman Borlaug didn't set out to feed the world's hungry. His Ambition as a young scientist was.."

You'd never find a book like this. never. even if you find an alternative, It would be several 500 page volumes and decades worth of newspaper articles.
This book addresses an important issue that does not receive enough attention. If for no other reason, people should read this book in order to understand the worldwide implications of the farm subsidies in the US (and Europe too, for that matter). The authors claim (and the point stands whether or not one agrees with the specific numbers) that the hunger-related aid from the US to Africa is almost completely offset by the amount that US farm subsidies take from African farmers; the subsidies ca...more
This is definitely a well-written and very readable book on hunger and agricultural development. It's fast-paced and filled with personal anecdotes and profiles that make the issue much more concrete and approachable (something that can be a bit difficult when you're talking about subsidies and ag research). The first part of the book is a pretty scathing look at how American agricultural subsidies and insistence on food aid hurt developing countries. The main case study used by the authors is E...more
It's a shame that a book like this had to be written. It's not a doom & gloom book but I think anyone who reads it would be hard pressed to feel good after reading it. It clearly demonstrated how aid from the "first" world to the "third" world was detrimental to the farmers but made pointless by the World Bank & World Trade Organization policies, especially Structural Adjustment. The "first" world was essentially giving with one hand & taking with the other. The book also highlighted...more
If I could have given this book 3.5 stars, I would have. I learned a lot and found it fascinating. At the same time, there were a number of chapters that I felt were wholly unnecessary (e.g. the genesis of Bono's philanthropy). There were also a number of conjectures that I just didn't feel I could totally trust without some kind of outside reference. For example, the authors claim that the major reason the IMF abandoned its restrictions on countries from giving subsidies to their farmers was Ma...more
One-sentence review: Well-researched, good balance between statistics and stories, humbling, and inspiring.

I took forever to finish this, because I'm the kind of reader who can only take so much reality in one sitting. The authors make the case that hunger is the biggest moral issue facing humanity today, and it's hard to disagree.

The bigger argument, and the one that surprised me, is that world hunger is not an unavoidable, insurmountable issue. Yes, droughts happen, wars happen, but famines ar...more
This was a very interesting book and I learned a lot from it. It felt like more of a collection of articles rather than a cohesive book, though. The authors talked about how important it is to increase crop yields, then in the next chapter how increased crop yields would lead to crisis without the markets to support them. In one chapter they talked about how crop subsidies in the West are hurting farmers around the world, then about how those farmers desperately need subsidies themselves. These...more
This is an important read for anyone who cares about why people still starve in a world as rich as ours. The authors do a fantastic job of connecting what happens in an Ethiopian famine with what happens on American farmland, and how the decisions of African governments are deeply influenced by the decisions of Western legislatures and global economic bodies. Without falling into ideological bias, the authors both critique and commend politicians and NGO leaders of several different ideological...more
This was a well-written and thorough introduction to the political factors that have contributed to food security problems in Africa and to some solutions that have been tried there (both successes and failures). The authors include personal stories as well as statistics, which makes the book very readable, and practical suggestions for changes we can support keep it from being overwhelming.

I was disappointed, however, that a book supposedly about worldwide hunger focused only on Africa. The pe...more
Jenn Hailley
This book is an extremely informative and startling look at the reasons for starvation around the world,and different people and organizations' efforts to eradicate it. Unfortunately I was pretty ignorant on this topic, never having heard of Borlaug, the Green Revolution, the ridiculous farm subsidies that westernized rich countries (most especially the USA) give to well-to-do farmers, etc. I really think this book is good reading for anyone who is interested in why there are so many people star...more
I learned more about geo-politics and agriculture than I had ever thought that I'd care to know. My first assumption about this book is that it would be railing on greedy Americans, and in all honesty it sort of did, but it did so in a way that was fair and convincing. It was a far more interesting book than I had thought it would be and the book told many great stories of people who were either helping, being helped or needing help and how geo-politics are impacting the ability to assist starvi...more
Jul 28, 2012 Saritha marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Not quite the weekend read I was expecting, but am intrigued and disturbed by the politics of hunger as described in this book.

All the world's advancements seem useless when there are parts of the world, esp Africa, where the basic human need for food and water are not fulfilled. The biggest irony - as has been described many times before - is that of starving farmers. This, when, according to the book, Africa has almost twice as much arable land than the European Union!

And all this, just in t...more
Interesting book with a nice perspective on world business and hunger.
Was given this to read for work. It is really good. Written by two WSJ journalists..so very well written, based on stories they did over years...some of the stuff I knew, but also learned/verified a lot about global agricultural markets and why things are so crazy.
Also, it is written so that the stories are told about actual people, makes it really..gut-wrenching. I cried at one point.
Since I am now going to be working on agriculture and food security issues in this new job..this was a good ins...more
A must read.
Adam Shields
Short review: Walks through the agricultural revolution that occurred in Asia and the Americas but did not really reach Africa. There is lot of info about why Africa continues to have problems in spite of the international Aid and attention. A very good and well documented book, although it can be a little dry in places.

My full review is at http://bookwi.se/enough-why-the-world...
Molly Thompson
I greatly enjoyed this book. It is a non-fiction book that reads like a fiction book: it has a protagonist, antagonist(s), and a plot line. It illustrates the complexity of food insecurity in Africa, and offers explanations as to why the Green Revolution never took root there. It is easily accessible to those with no prior education on food security issues, and is an eye-opening read. It deserves a much wider audience than it likely attracts.
Aug 05, 2010 Steve marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: icpl, ui-lib
I am the first person to check this book out at the UI Main Library. It even came with the cover flap. I have decide to collect these since at checkout they were going to just throw it away. Maybe this is part of the problem we have in being a part of the solution to hunger. We throw away enough food to feed how many starving poor in Africa? We have grown up in America with a throw-away mentality.
Derek Walsh
An enthralling account of the problems of starvation and why the poorest countries (mostly in Africa) are still suffering despite the Green Revolution and the vast amount of aid they receive. The causes turn out to be largely political rather than environmental. Although the problems seem intractable, the book goes on to highlight remedies that are already in place and possible future solutions.
I happened upon this book at my library & I'm very glad I did. It was a very well-written, informative introduction to the realities of hunger and food security issues. Eye opening!! The style of writing really kept me going through some difficult material--realizing that all we do is just a drop in the bucket of what really needs to be done. I can't wait to share it with others.

Fred Rose
"Thurow is coming to IonE/Mpls in Sept. to speak (Sept 15, check the IonE website) but in any case, food production is also the topic for the Acara Challenge coming up. Very good book, very readable. Like many types of aid, giving crops to the starving in Africa undercut the local food producers and prevents the local agricultural economy from becoming sustainable."
Periodically I need reminders of just how much I really enjoy in the form of material security. This book is also a good lesson on the complexity of international affairs and why globalization doesn't always work out so well (subsidies for rich country farmers but none for African farmers has made a very unfair playing field).
Kelsey Tyrrell
I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with the TONS of info. in this book but it was a really easy read and very eye opening. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know the real reasons why so many people are still starving and unable to lift themselves out of poverty.
Meghan Smith
This book opened my eyes to a side of the food system I would have never dreamed existed. Well written by two investigative journalists who work for Wall Street Journal. Following a story of philanthropy and starvation. The butterfly effect of the humanitarian debate to feed the hungry.
This book should be required reading for anyone interested in international aid, agriculture or development economics. The authors have masterfully combined big-picture statistics with intimate stories to create a comprehensive survey of the challenges facing poor people worldwide.
Sammi Fredenburg
recommended by ONE, i thot i'd do my homework on global food security, and it's a valuable read. in the 21st century, there is no reason why our garbage disposals should eat better than 1/5th of the planet. i'm not too far into it yet, i'll update my review when i learn more.
Eric Nelson
I am not too far in, but the first two chapters are getting me to change my habits and think about how I can act. It is evident from their writing that hunger should not be occurring in our world and that when it does those that withhold help are virtually criminals.
Andrew R.
This book is a fascinating explanation of third and first-world hunger, agriculture, and food distribution. It examines the subsidies, the laws, the lobbying, the aid, the NGOs, the politics, the drama, the sadness, and the hope. It is well worth a read.
Very interesting and provides a lot of information and insight into this horrible situation.
I would have given it 5 stars, but it gets dry at some points and it felt like I was back in college forcing myself to read something required for class.
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