Betting on Famine: Why the World Still Goes Hungry

Betting on Famine: Why the World Still Goes Hungry

by Jean Ziegler


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Betting on Famine: Why the World Still Goes Hungry by Jean Ziegler

Few know that world hunger was very nearly eradicated in our lifetimes. In the past five years, however, widespread starvation has suddenly reappeared, and chronic hunger is a major issue on every continent.

In an extensive investigation of this disturbing shift, Jean Ziegler—one of the world’s leading food experts—lays out in clear and accessible terms the complex global causes of the new hunger crisis. Ziegler’s wide-ranging and fascinating examination focuses on how the new sustainable revolution in energy production has diverted millions of acres of corn, soy, wheat, and other grain crops from food to fuel. The results, he shows, have been sudden and startling, with declining food reserves sending prices to record highs and a new global commodities market in ethanol and other biofuels gobbling up arable lands in nearly every continent on earth.

Like Raj Patel’s pathbreaking Stuffed and Starved, Betting on Famine will enlighten the millions of Americans concerned about the politics of food at home—and about the forces that prevent us from feeding the world’s children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595588494
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.86(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

From 2000 to 2008 Jean Ziegler was the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Formerly a member of the Swiss Parliament, Ziegler is the author of numerous books, including The Swiss, the Gold and the Dead, which details the role of Swiss banks in illegally holding the dormant bank accounts of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. He lives in Switzerland. Christopher Caines is the translator of World War II: The Unseen Visual History. His original essays have appeared in several periodicals, scholarly reference works, and anthologies, including Reading Dance. Caines lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

List of Abbreviations x

Preface xiii

Part I Massacre 1

1 The Geography of Hunger 3

2 Invisible Hunger 25

3 Protracted Crises 29

Postscript 1 The Gaza Ghetto 35

Postscript 2 Refugees from the North Korean Famine 40

4 The Children of Crateús 43

5 God Is Not a Farmer 46

6 "No One Goes Hungry in Switzerland" 51

7 The Tragedy of Noma 55

Part II The Awakening of Conscience 63

8 Famine and Fatalism: Malthus and Natural Selection 65

9 Josué de Castro, Phase One 70

10 Hitler's "Hunger Plan" 82

11 A Light in the Darkness: The United Nations 91

12 Josué de Castro, Phase Two: A Very Heavy Coffin 97

Part III Enemies of the Right to Food 103

13 The Crusaders of Neoliberalism 105

14 The Horsemen of the Apocalypse 120

15 When Free Trade Kills 129

16 Savonarola on Lake Geneva 134

Part IV The Collapse of the WFP and the FAO's Impotence 139

17 A Billionaire's Fear 141

18 Victory of the Predators 151

19 "Natural" Selection Redux 156

20 Jalil Jilani and Her Children 159

21 The Defeat of Jacques Diouf 164

Postscript: The Murder of Iraq's Children 169

Part V The Vultures of "Green Gold" 177

22 A Great Lie 179

23 Barack Obama's Obsession 184

24 The Curse of Sugarcane 187

Postscript: Hell in Gujarat 195

25 Criminal Recolonization 196

Part VI The Speculators 205

26 The "Tiger Sharks" 207

27 Geneva, World Capital of Agri-Food Speculators 221

28 Land Grabs and the Resistance of the Damned 225

29 The Complicity of the Western States 238

Epilogue 242

Notes 249

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