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The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle…
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The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle against Poverty in Asia (edição 2010)

por Nick Cullather (Autor)

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Food was a critical front in the Cold War battle for Asia. âeoeWhere Communism goes, hunger followsâe was the slogan of American nation builders who fanned out into the countryside to divert rivers, remodel villages, and introduce tractors, chemicals, and genes to multiply the crops consumed by millions. This âeoegreen revolutionâe has been credited with averting Malthusian famines, saving billions of lives, and jump-starting Asiaâe(tm)s economic revival. Bono and Bill Gates hail it as a model for revitalizing Africaâe(tm)s economy. But this tale of science triumphant conceals a half century of political struggle from the Afghan highlands to the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta, a campaign to transform rural societies by changing the way people eat and grow food. The ambition to lead Asia into an age of plenty grew alongside development theories that targeted hunger as a root cause of war. Scientific agriculture was an instrument for molding peasants into citizens with modern attitudes, loyalties, and reproductive habits. But food policies were as contested then as they are today. While Kennedy and Johnson envisioned Kansas-style agribusiness guarded by strategic hamlets, Indira Gandhi, Marcos, and Suharto inscribed their own visions of progress onto the land. Out of this campaign, the costliest and most sustained effort for development ever undertaken, emerged the struggles for resources and identity that define the region today. As Obama revives the lost arts of Keynesianism and counter-insurgency, the history of these colossal projects reveals bitter and important lessons for todayâe(tm)s missions to feed a hungry world.… (mais)
Membro:agatlin1990
Título:The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle against Poverty in Asia
Autores:Nick Cullather (Autor)
Informação:Harvard University Press (2010), 368 pages
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The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle against Poverty in Asia por Nick Cullather

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Things this book does well: re-examine the narrative about the "green revolution," and disentangle the ways that development as a practice involving food and populations, uh, well, 'developed.' It really denaturalized the history of that practice and the theories surrounding it, and for that I think it is honestly worth checking out.

Things I struggled with in this book: it feels like it bounces all over the place geographically and to some extent temporally, at least in the latter half of the book? There were some historical figures who I really struggled to keep straight even as they appeared again and again. Also I read the e-book which comes with zero pictures, which is annoying. Also the conclusion struck me as very weird (there's a bit where he was like "PEOPLE DON'T CARE ABOUT FOOD-RELATED DEVELOPMENT ANY MORE BECAUSE OF 24-HOUR NEWS ON TV" and I was like 'that's not what your book is about but ok') and really jolted me out of the book in general. Also it just isn't generally the kind of book I find very interesting in the first place, so that was something that is my fault, not the book's.

All that being said, again, I would actually recommend this book because I think it has some important things to say about the ways that food-related development projects have been run historically (it stupidly had never occurred to me that 'there are starving children in China!' was a phrase more to do with defeating Communism than about actual children...) and I think that is really important in the politics around development today. ( )
  aijmiller | Apr 2, 2017 |
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Food was a critical front in the Cold War battle for Asia. âeoeWhere Communism goes, hunger followsâe was the slogan of American nation builders who fanned out into the countryside to divert rivers, remodel villages, and introduce tractors, chemicals, and genes to multiply the crops consumed by millions. This âeoegreen revolutionâe has been credited with averting Malthusian famines, saving billions of lives, and jump-starting Asiaâe(tm)s economic revival. Bono and Bill Gates hail it as a model for revitalizing Africaâe(tm)s economy. But this tale of science triumphant conceals a half century of political struggle from the Afghan highlands to the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta, a campaign to transform rural societies by changing the way people eat and grow food. The ambition to lead Asia into an age of plenty grew alongside development theories that targeted hunger as a root cause of war. Scientific agriculture was an instrument for molding peasants into citizens with modern attitudes, loyalties, and reproductive habits. But food policies were as contested then as they are today. While Kennedy and Johnson envisioned Kansas-style agribusiness guarded by strategic hamlets, Indira Gandhi, Marcos, and Suharto inscribed their own visions of progress onto the land. Out of this campaign, the costliest and most sustained effort for development ever undertaken, emerged the struggles for resources and identity that define the region today. As Obama revives the lost arts of Keynesianism and counter-insurgency, the history of these colossal projects reveals bitter and important lessons for todayâe(tm)s missions to feed a hungry world.

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