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Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa (African Issues) Paperback – 1 Jan 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: James Currey (1 Jan. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852558104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852558102
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 416,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Famine Crimes is without question the most important intervention in the broad field of famine prevention since the publication of Amartya Sen's Poverty and Famine... - Michael Watts in DEVELOPMENT & CHANGE ...an important book by a writer whose accomplishments as a researcher, critic and activist on famine and on human rights in Africa are widely respected. It is also a book which is causing distress and anger in some humanitarian organizations. - John Harriss in INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS If Famine Crimes does not have all the answers, it nevertheless poses many key questions, and it does so by means of a readable, provocative and empirical analysis of crises with which the author has been passionately involved. It is a powerful critique of current practices that will be a milestone in the literature on aid and conflict. - David Keen in THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

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For almost a century there has been no excuse for famine. Read the first page
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By RAS on 31 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
De Waal's basic line is that a) famine can be a weapon of war; b) a 'political contract' is needed between people and state to ensure that famine is averted and if experienced, then government is accountable; c) the aid industry often negatively influences humanitarian crises.

The second argument is possibly the take-away idea from the book and certainly the idea is referenced in many other works on this topic. In light of that, if the reader seeks information solely about the 'political contract' idea, then this is the source document, but an outline of this is available in a number of articles and other places. The majority of the book consists of case studies, which exemplify the arguments he makes. Bearing this in mind, students looking for this in isolation would be compelled to read a lot of other material.

However, when taken altogether, it is a well-rounded 'complete' book that sweeps across a broad range of issues; particular attention is paid to Biafra, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Great Lakes, which each have substantial and detailed chapters, exploring the historical details and their relation to his bigger ideas.

An important academic work.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 July 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a managable text,even for the novice in African current afairs and is written by the co-director of the Africa Rights group,based in London. De Waal contends that the causes of famine are invariably political and avoidable.He is critical of the activities to date of many aid agencies and observes that they have in many cases paradoxically perpetuated the very crises they have been seeking to end. This work has raised many questions for me and is a starting point for further reading on the subject of how aid to developing countries can be best delivered.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A thought-provoking,worthwhile read. 25 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a managable text,even for the novice in African current afairs and is written by the co-director of the Africa Rights group,based in London. De Waal contends that the causes of famine are invariably political and avoidable.He is critical of the activities to date of many aid agencies and observes that they have in many cases paradoxically perpetuated the very crises they have been seeking to end. This work has raised many questions for me and is a starting point for further reading on the subject of how aid to developing countries can be best delivered.
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
americans shot black hawk down 9 April 2002
By David Roman Bermejo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Grown-ups should know that journalists rarely get their stories right. This book, presented as a straightforward examination of the NGO's 'Aid-Game' and their complementary 'Aid-Circus', ends up being all the more poignant when it targets Western misconceptions and the Neo-colonialism that has installed itself in the Western media and elites under the catchphrase 'Humanitarian Intervention'. You don't have to believe me - just read this fantastic book, written by a former member of the NGO's international, and find out how and why famines really start and really end, as opposed as what you hear on newspapers and TV. If you wanna know why Black Hawk went down, this is the book to start. If you remember those Ethiopian children you thought you saved by buying tickets for charity concerts, maybe you wanna know the truth.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
How many books will it take for tax payers to take their responsibility and call it off? 2 Dec. 2010
By Buyer anoymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is another account of the crime against a population that is happening every day at tax payers expenses. How many books will it take on the subject matter to have the public at wide take the matter up and put it on the G20 agenda where it rightly belongs. The reading of this sorry account enraged me. Please read this book and others such as 'U.N. a Cosa Nostra' or ' The road to hell:...'U.N. a Cosa Nostra: The workings of an organization 'helping' the poorest of the world (Volume 1)

The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great read and provoking. 2 July 2010
By Sal Buttafuoco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
More research needs to be done to explain why people are dying from starvation in a world full of wealth and food. Why hasn't Lord Rothschild or George Soros offered one crum of food to these betrayed people? Maybe the rich are predestined to flaunt their wealth in this life and to live eternally in damnation. If I had the capabilities, I couldn't live with it if I squandered it.
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