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World Hunger: Twelve Myths [Paperback]

by Frances Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins, Peter Rosset, Luis Esparza
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 24, 1998 0802135919 978-0802135919 2 Sub
In this completely revised and updated edition of the most authoritative book on world hunger, three of our foremost experts on food and agriculture expose and explode the myths that prevent us from effectively addressing the problem. Drawing on and distilling the extensive research of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First), Lappé, Collins, and Rosset examine head-on the policies and politics that have kept hungry people from feeding themselves around the world, in both Third and First World countries, as well as the misconceptions that have obscured our own national, social, and humanitarian interests. Written in a straightforward, easy-to-read style, World Hunger: Twelve Myths shakes many tenaciously held beliefs; but most important, it convinces readers that by standing together with the hungry we can advance not only humanitarian interests, but our own well-being.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Revised and Updated Edition of the Classic on World Hunger from the Internationally Recognized Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First.

The completely revised Second Edition includes:

o Substantial new material on hunger in the aftermath of the Cold War

o Global food production vs. population growth

o Changing demographics and falling birth rates around the world

o The shifting focus of foreign assistance in the new world order

o Structural adjustment and other budget-slashing policies

o Trade liberalization and free trade agreements

o Famine and humanitarian interventions

o The Third Worldization of First World nations

In this completely revised and updated edition of the most authoritative book on world hunger, three of our foremost experts on food and agriculture expose and explode the myths that prevent us from effectively addressing the problem. Drawing on and distilling the extensive research of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First), Lapp, Collins, and Rosset examine head-on the policies and politics that have kept hungry people from feeding themselves around the world, in both Third and First World countries, as well as the misconceptions that have obscured our own national, social, and humanitarian interests. Written in a straightforward, easy-to-read style, World Hunger: Twelve Myths shakes many tenaciously held beliefs; but most important, it convinces readers that by standing together with the hungry we can advance not only humanitarian interests, but our own well-being.

"World Hunger addresses problems of enormous human significance with valuable and often surprising information, much insight, sound common sense, and fundamental decency. It should become not only a book for study, but a guide to action."-Noam Chomsky, MIT

"A marvelously lucid message: the most important cause of death and disease is hunger; the remedy is food; the remedy exists. Their message swiftly demolishes the myths and powerfully arms us for the political task of ending hunger, here and throughout the world."-Dr. Barry Commoner

Frances Moore Lapp is the author of twelve books including the international bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet, and co-director of the Center for Living Democracy in Brattleboro, Vermont. In 1975, she and Joseph Collins founded the Oakland-based Institute for Food and Development Policy. Dr. Collins' many books include Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity, and Aid as Obstacle: Twenty Questions About Our Foreign Aid and the Hungry (both with Lapp, as well as No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba, and Chile's Free Market Miracle: A Second Look. An author, lecturer and consultant on international development issues, Collins makes his home in Santa Cruz, California. Peter Rosset is the Executive Director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy. Dr. Rosset's many books include A Cautionary Tale: Failed U.S. Development Policy in Central America, The Greening of the Revolution: Cuba's Experiment with Organic Agriculture, and Agroecology. Dr. Luis Esparza is a Geographer from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).


Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 2 Sub edition (September 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802135919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802135919
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, Illuminating, Empowering September 14, 2002
Format:Paperback
World Hunger: Twelve Myths clearly identifies the root causes of hunger as stemming from inequity and lack of true democracy, dispelling entirely the common belief that inadaquate food production is to blame. In their plain spoken and positive eloquence, the authors overwhelmingly succeed in conveying otherwise dauntingly complex global social and economic dynamics that contribute to world hunger and how each must be changed to honestly address the plight of the poor.
World Hunger: 12 Myths should have a permanent home in school curricula, libraries, and in the hands of people of all ages wishing to better understand and improve the world in which they live.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth will come out September 1, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book tells it like it is. There are myths about world hunger. Some are plausible but not true. Others are so clearly silly once you think about it that the author, represents the lad in "The Emporer's New Clothes."
He says to Monsanto, for example, your claims of genetic seed stopping world hunger are bogus because world hunger is worsened by your products. To Archers Daniel Midlands big agribiz company's proclamations of helping end world hunger, another "Balogna." You see, there are so many poor farmers all over the world who need to feed local people using simple methods that have worked for thousands of years. Both the chemical companies and other agribusiness firms make hunger worse by enabling practicies that undermine the little guy feeding the poor. Instead, the practices make "First World" investors rich on the backs of the "Third World" farmers and people.
This book is one you've got to read if you care about world hunger. It is well researched and well written about the myths of world hunger.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource May 16, 2002
Format:Paperback
Over the years, many myths have emerged about the subject of world hunger. People think that if this or that should happen, hunger will disappear, and no longer will westerners have to look at pictures of starving babies in Africa. This book explodes many of those myths.
Some people think that population (or overpopulation) is the problem. Others think that there simply isn't enough food available, or that nature, with her floods and droughts, is the culprit. Still others think that the solution lies with free trade, or letting the market provide, or with the Green Revolution, with its heavy emphasis on pesticides and other chemicals. Other possibilities are that the poor are simply too hungry to revolt, or that the US should increase its stingy foreign aid budget.
The authors place the blame elsewhere. All over the world, there has been a huge concentration of land in fewer and fewer hands, forcing poor and middle-class peasants off the land (in the US, witness the decline of the family farmer). Structural adjustment programs from places like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (part of the requirements when asking for a loan) require a country to reorient its agriculture toward items that are easily exportable rather than items that can feed their people. Another requirement is the removal of internal tariffs and other barriers to the import of grain and other foodstuffs. It results in a flood of cheaper (usually American) agricultural products reaching the market, driving local farmers out of business. The countries that one thinks of when hearing "famine" actually produce enough food to feed their people. The only problem is that much of it has to go overseas to help pay the foreign debt.
This book is excellent. It presents a potentially complex subject in a clear, easy to understand manner. It contains a list of addresses to contact for more information, and is a great activism reference.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The emperor has no clothes! March 10, 2002
Format:Paperback
There are few people in this country who have done more to raise consciousness about food, economy, and natural resources than Frances Moore Lappe. She was a prophet for sustainability long before it became fashionable to buck the emerging globalism. Her *World Hunger: 12 Myths*, an expanded and updated version of the earlier *World Hunger: 10 Myths*, is a pivotal text.
The central claim defended here is that hunger is a question of distribution, not scarcity of food or surplus of people. Hunger, in short, is a political problem, and in *12 Myths* Lappe and her co-authors systematically debunk the misconceptions and spins that blind us to the real nature of world hunger.
This book is subversive in the best sense of the word. It shakes our own complacency; it dares to say that the self-serving corporate and political explanations for world hunger have no substance; and it offers strategies for actually doing something to solve the problem. The thing is this: we're all implicated in the problem of world hunger. All of us eat, and in eating we at least implicitly condone the maldistribution of foodstuffs that gives us tomatoes and kiwis in the dead of winter while farmers of these exportable cash crops in the third world starve. But it doesn't have to be this way. As Lappe says, "Where and how we spend our money--or don't spend it--is a vote for the kind of world we want to create. For example, in most communities we can now choose to shop at food stores that offer less-processed and less-wastefully-packaged foods, stores managed by the workers themselves, instad of conglomerate-controlled supermarkets. And we can choose to redirect our consumer dollars in support of specific product boycotts . . . "
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Important
An updated Diet for a Small Planet A waKe up call for the future of food and population growth. Should be read with the CD - Food, Inc.
Published 1 month ago by Jack Hauck
5.0 out of 5 stars The Politics of Food
Frances Moore Lappe is a political and social visionary. The author of Diet for a Small Planet, in World Hunger, she points out how food is wrongly being used as a political tool. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sandy Penny
5.0 out of 5 stars Good overview
Great overview of issues relating to chronic poverty. There are plenty of endnotes to support what the authors are saying and provide avenues for further investigation. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rafter
4.0 out of 5 stars You should read this book
This one really makes you rethink your ideas about humger. The authors take each of the presumed causes and presumed cures for hunger and show why they are not accurate and will... Read more
Published on February 15, 2010 by David
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay
I was not impressed with it. The information is very basic and no new ideas were presented.
Published on May 28, 2009 by A. Farias
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential introductory primer on global food issues
Lappé et al.'s "World Hunger: Twelve Myths", a production of the Institute for Food and Development Policy, does exactly what it promises: it mentions and then subsequently... Read more
Published on November 7, 2008 by M. A. Krul
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 provisional myths of world hunger
This book - World Hunger - explodes12 provisional myths about world hunger, ranging from defeatist reflexes such as that food shortages are unavoidable to similarly silly notions... Read more
Published on September 7, 2008 by V.H. Amavilah
1.0 out of 5 stars This book can be used as a fertilizer
A friend of me, who lives in Europe, lent this book to me, some months ago.I'm an agronomist and I live in Brazil. Read more
Published on June 19, 2006 by Dalton C. Rocha
5.0 out of 5 stars "Famines are not natural disasters,but social disasters"
This book is only 270 pages including about 75 pages of notes and references and tries to cover a massive issue. Read more
Published on September 8, 2005 by J. Guild
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Warning Against Market Fundamentalism
This book does an excellent job of showing how despite the economic growth that has been spurred worldwide thanks to deregulation, liberalization of trade and finance, and... Read more
Published on April 2, 2002 by Stephen Cannon
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