Journal Article


Book Review: ‘Famine: A Short History’, by Cormac O’Grada

Published on 1 October 2010

Famine studies is, mercifully, a dwindling sub‐genre, and in this fascinating book it is presented as history. The timescale sweeps through some 5,000 years, from famines in ancient Egypt to Malawi in 2002 and Niger in 2005. This scope is impressive, and the thematic structure juxtaposes famines that are separated by many centuries, illuminating continuities as well as changes over time in famine processes and defining characteristics. The fact that famine persists in the early twenty‐first century gives this book a resonance and relevance that a review confined to historical famines would not provide.


Stephen Devereux

Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Devereux, S.
Journal of Agrarian Change, volume 10, issue 4


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