Hunger and Public Action

Hunger and Public Action

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This study was well-received and widely discussed when it appeared in hardback in 1990. It is devoted to analysis of the enduring problem of hunger in the modern world, and of the role that public action can play in countering it. The book is divided into four parts. The first attempts to provide a coherent perspective on the complex nutritional, economic, social and political issues involved in the causation of hunger and deprivation. The second deals with famine prevention, paying special attention to Africa and India. The third focuses on chronic undernourishment and related deprivations. Parts two and three include a number of case studies of successful public action for the prevention of hunger and famines in various parts of the world. The fourth part of the book draws together the main themes and concerns of the earlier chapters, and provides an integrated view of the role of public action in eliminating more

Product details

  • Paperback | 392 pages
  • 149.86 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • line drawings and tables
  • 0198283652
  • 9780198283652
  • 1,110,649

Review quote

From the hardback: 'If their book has the impact it deserves (and no technical knowledge is needed to understand it), it may save the lives of millions. It is one of the most important contributions to economic thought for many a year.' Financial Times 'magnificent.' Robert Oakeshott, The Political Quarterly 'excellent book' The Economist 'This book, by two of the most eminent modern students of hunger, is wholly and honourably different.' Times Literary Supplement 'This is a book of hope which highlights how action on behalf of people whose lives are marred by persistent hunger, can and is likely to pay off. A book to be read without delay by every Minister of Agriculture - indeed by every government minister whose decisions have anything to do with agriculture.' International Agricultural Development, Nov/Dec, 1990 'An admirable book, the result of careful empirical research. No specialist knowledge of economics is needed to understand it.' William St Clair, Financial Times 'of great interest ... Their conclusions are well argued and extremely well documented with extensive case studies and a list of bibliographical references running to over seventy pages.' Michael Taylor, Crucible, January-March 1991 'This is an extremely rich book that challenges many of the common assumptions about development and international aid. Written in a fluid and highly accessible style, it ranges widely, tackling many issues that are at the centre - or should be at the centre - of the development debate.' Marie Gottschalk, Far Eastern Economic Review 'The book is wide-ranging, sharply analytical, and highly readable ... if governments took enough notice of this book, agencies like Oxfam would not be needed.' Tony Vaux, Emergencies Officer, Oxfam UK and Ireland, Development in Practice, Vol. 1, No.1 'important book ... this marshalling of evidence and arguments is both valuable and formidable ... in a vast and rapidly expanding literature on famine and hunger ... Hunger and Public Action will rapidly become essential reading' Tim Dyson, London School of Economics, Population Studies, 45/1 'This book devotes as much attention to the successes as to the reasons for failure and, despite its scholarly approach is essentially a practical guide to preventing famine.' Oxfam 'The authors make a powerful and convincing argument for their approach to famine relief, and it is perhaps the most important argument in a generally powerful and convincing book. It has changed the way I will think about famine relief from now on.' Robert M Solow, The New York Review of Books 'what they have to say about famine is arresting, and not at all what the ordinary good-hearted donor to relief efforts has come to expect.' The New York Review 'The authors are eminently entitled to handle the subject. Though the book is written by two high-powered economists, it is written in an extremely lucid style without economic jargons. It is meant for all those who are genuinely concerned about human misery due to various deprivations. The authors' deep understanding of the theme and their empathy with the cause of the victims of hunger and deprivation are reflected throughout the book.' Dr. N.J. Kurian, Future, 1992 'Sen and Dreze's book fills a long-persisting gap in thinking about hunger ... their eclectic work synthesises an extraordinary range of practical and academic approaches ... the authors write with style. The clarity of their writing, in fact, may suggest that their analysis is simplistic. This is not the case.' 'This is an important and timely book ... it is an excellent contribution to development economics. One hopes that it will be read by all concerned social scientists, World Bank and IMF economists, as well as by students of development economics.' P.N. Junankar, Australian National University, Economica, 2/92 'This book is a comprehensive review of its field, lucid and well-structured, with a remarkable coverage of the literature. It is an essential reference work for those concerned with research and policy on reducing hunger and poverty.' Michael Hubbard, University of Birmingham, Public Administration & Development 'Although it has been three years since this book was published, the analysis carried out by the authors continues to provide valuable insights into the complex problems of famine and chronic under-nourishment in the developing world ... this book has likely been read by most academic researchers seriously concerned with economic development and food security. That audience would have undoubtedly found the book to be scholarly, thoughtful and well-written ... Hunger and Public Action is a book that should appear on reading lists prepared by faculty who want their students to gain real insight into the complex issues associated with famine and chronic under-nourishment.' Journal of Nutrition Education 'Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen at last provide an empirical and comparative analysis that establishes, contrary to widespread assumptions, that hunger and famine are not inevitable and are not caused by food scarcity ... Their clarity, depth, and common sense are nothing short of path-breaking ... Through clear, precise analysis, Hunger and Public Action shows that famines can be prevented through early measures centered on public employment ... This is a very satisfying book.' Contemporary Sociology 'Hunger and Public Action is a quite unconventional and powerful work of synthesis ... It makes a convincing case for how famine can be eradicated relatively easily and immediately.' Journal of Peasant Studies 'Hunger and Public Action ... is an important contribution to the literature on antihunger policy.' World Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Abstracts '"the primary focus of this book is on action, rather than on measurement" ... As such then, it is an excellent complement to the three volume Dreze and Sen work also under review.' Thomas D. DeGregori, University of Houston, Africa Today, 4th Quarter, 1992 'the most ambitious treatment of the intertwined issues of hunger, famines and well-being currently in print ... Dreze and Sen's collection is a massive achievement and will doubtless become an obligatory reference for every student on the subject. Certain essays, notably those by Jean Dreze himself, should also become obligatory reading for all practitioners in the field.' Development and Change, Vol. 24 (1993) 'a thoroughly researched, comprehensive survey of the problem of world hunger ... There is, clearly, a place for this book in public libraries since it gives an overview of a problem that is of vital interest to the public ... It is an invaluable information source not only throughout its various chapters, but also in the exhaustive reference section on pages 281-357' Theological Book Review A must for the study of poverty and famine. Arabsheibani, London School of Economicsshow more