The Tawney Memorial Lecture 2007 - The Ripple that Drowns: Twentieth Century Famines as Economic History

Authors/Speakers/Subjects: Cormac O’ Grada

Published Date: 01 Jan 2007


The twentieth century saw the virtual elimination of famine across most of the globe, but also witnessed some of the worst famines ever recorded. The causes usually given for these twentieth-century famines differ from those given for earlier famines, which tend to be more often blamed on harvest failures per se than on human agency. In this lecture, given at the Economic History Society’s annual conference in Exeter in March 2007 Professor Cormac O’Grada reassesses two of the last century's most notorious famines, the Chinese Great Leap Famine of 1959–61 and the Great Bengal Famine of 1943–4, in the light of these rival perspectives.

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