Hadrian's Reviews > Three Famines

Three Famines by Tom Keneally
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's review
Dec 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, history, subsaharan-africa, ireland, south-asia
Read in December, 2011

A brief and sickening overview of three historical examples of famines - the Irish potato famine, the Bengalese famine during WWII, and the Ethiopian famines of the 1970s-80s.

Compares and contrasts the three examples, with the physiological and psychological effects of famine, as well as the heroes and villains of each case - those who tried to get the word out, and those callous few who snubbed the starving people or ignored them completely. Amartya Sen's assertion that there has been no famine in a functioning democracy holds true in these cases. The administration has utterly ignored the people's needs.

Considering how North Korea's been in the news a lot recently, this book will always remain prescient reading, sadly enough.

I would have liked even more detail, but that's just my opinion.

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