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The Third Freedom: Ending Hunger In Our Time Hardcover – January 11, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 173 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (January 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684853345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684853345
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,936,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A longtime liberal politician and the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, McGovern makes an impassioned plea for a cause he has worked on long and hard: ending world hunger. He believes this difficult goal is attainable by the year 2030. He traces the history of American involvement in fighting hunger both at home and abroad over the past several decades, not surprisingly nodding approval at programs that he himself backed during the Kennedy and Nixon administrations and criticizing the reduction in antihunger spending under Reagan and Clinton. The most provocative part of his generous manifesto is a five-point program to be spearheaded by the U.S. that includes free school lunches for children around the world; free food, nutrition counseling and health-care services to disadvantaged women and children; the establishment of international food reserves; aid to farmers in developing nations to improve their yields; and the genetic engineering of crops, calling these controversial foods "an indispensable instrument in the war against hunger." McGovern believes in the power of government to solve social ills, and politically conservative readers may find his faith misplaced. Moreover, his uncritical appraisal of the 1960s programs that failed to end poverty is irksome. Nevertheless, in an age marked by extensive cynicism toward government, McGovern not only offers optimism, he also outlines specific initiatives that government can undertake to wipe out world hunger now. (Jan.) Forecast: McGovern's liberal sentiments may not reflect the beliefs of the nation at large, but there is a solid core of dedicated liberal and progressive believers and activists who will welcome this plan by one of their enduring standard-bearers.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It should come as no surprise that McGovern, a New Deal liberal who represented South Dakota in Washington for more than 20 years, has taken ownership of the issue of hunger. Those who remember him mainly for his unsuccessful 1972 presidential race may not recall that young Representative McGovern helped shepherd "Food for Peace" legislation through Congress in 1959 and then was named to head the program by John Kennedy. Today, he serves as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations' food programs in Rome. McGovern insists "Hunger is a political condition" that can be wiped out in the next 30 years. In the U.S., he calls for "a modest increase in the minimum wage and an equally modest enlargement of the food stamp program," together with surplus-purchase price supports for farmers. To fight world hunger, McGovern aims to "globalize" effective U.S. programs: universal school lunches, a WIC-type feeding program for poor pregnant and nursing mothers and preschool children, regional grain reserves, focused agricultural assistance to third-world countries, an international Farmers Corps (like the Peace Corps), and expansion of scientific agriculture, including genetic crop modification. That last point will be controversial (as will the author's kind words about Dwayne Andreas of Archer Daniels Midland). Still, McGovern knows his subject well and deserves credit for bringing this critical issue back into the national debate. Mary Carroll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

George McGovern served in the U.S. Senate for 18 years and was the 1972 Democratic candidate for president. He directed the first Food for Peace Program under former president John F. Kennedy. A decorated World War II bomber pilot (Distinguished Flying Cross), he holds a PhD in history from Northwestern University and is a former professor at Dakota Wesleyan University. He was named by former president Bill Clinton in 1997 as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization. In 2000, he was awarded by Clinton the nation's highest honor, the Medal of Freedom. He divides his time among South Dakota, Montana, and Florida.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I found this book to be more than an overview of hunger's politics.
Daniel Rivera
Every caring person will be glad that she or he reads this book, because each of us can help eliminate world hunger in our lifetimes.
Donald Mitchell
The Third Freedom is an excellent book that gives countless suggestions, answers, and reasoning for World Hunger.
Janet Landon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Every caring person will be glad that she or he reads this book, because each of us can help eliminate world hunger in our lifetimes. The reference to the third freedom is to the idea of creating "freedom from want" that is found in FDR's famous speech about the four freedoms.
Senator McGovern has been close to the issue of hunger for many years, having first headed the Food for Peace program for President Kennedy and more recently working with the United Nations on food issues for President Clinton. In this book, he describes many of the lessons learned about allievating hunger in the United States and elsewhere around the world, the benefits from eliminating hunger, the barriers to making faster progress, the plans for making the next steps, and his proposal for eliminating world hunger for humans by 2015.
I remember hearing much about this subject in the 1960s, and especially recall the CBC special from 1968. Historically, American farmers had excess production that was hurting farm prices while people were hungry. During the Kennedy administration this was turned into a series of initiatives to reduce the surpluses to strengthen the prices and feed more people. Large gains were made in students attending school and in their academic performance through free school breakfasts and lunches for the poor.
What has happened since then? Well, the good news is that these and many other good ideas have been expanded around the world. The number of hungry people is still enormous, 800 million, but it is many fewer than 40 years ago. As Senator McGovern rightly points out, we now have the technology, expertise in food distribution, and financial resources to eliminate hunger for the final 800 million.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David E. Balducchi on March 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
George McGovern, former senator from South Dakota, has written a compact, layman's guide, The Third Freedom, on the politics of hunger. McGovern, long-time workhorse of food and agriculture policies, makes the case for a 5-point program to end hunger. The book's biographical anecdotes are as compelling as the case he makes. The author, World War II bomber pilot and Democratic presidential nominee, draws upon experiences from the Great Depression to the Clinton administration. Along the way, the reader learns how McGovern's father, farmers, Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Wallace, John Kennedy, Maryknoll missionaries and Pope John XXIII infulenced his thinking.
In the 1960s, McGovern's origination and stewardship of food and agriculture policies led to programs that benefited the U.S. economy. In the new century, McGovern uses his national visibility and standing to propose fresh political remedies: food policies that favor women and children; universal school lunch; genetically modified crops; fresh water; and agricultural aid modeled on the Peace Corps. The author endorses government action, rooted in biblical teachings, to feed the hungry. While the book is short on documentation, it is long on policy. The title from Gary Hart's memoir of McGoven's ill-fated presidential bid, Right from the Start, may aptly sum up this new work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Carpenter on August 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is NOT a utopian dream. This basic blue print should not be objectionable to conservatives, moderates or liberals. The elder statesman and historian puts forward some straight forward and relatively inexpensive proposals to end world hunger in our time. Sen. McGovern goes out of his way to praise the contribution made by some of his Republican colleagues especially Robert Dole. He recognizes the need for open markets and the value of liberalized global trade while seeing the need for sensible adjustments to deal with the social and economic upheaval. He calls upon the U.S. to lead the United Nations in an integrated approach involving the private sector, the world market system, governments, NGO's, religious communities and grassroots organizations. This book is MUST reading for anyone looking for realistic and practical solutions to the world's gravest and cruelest injustice, malnutrition caused by poverty.
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