- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; New Ed edition (5 Sept. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465071651
- ISBN-13: 978-0465071654
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,232,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hunger: An Unnatural History Paperback – 5 Sep 2006
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"(an) elegantly written mixture of history, science and memoir...an engaging journey through the whole spectrum of hunger." -- The Observer
"Fascinating ...(t)his rather grim subject comes to seem profound, thanks to Russell's ruminative prose style and keen intelligence." -- The Guardian Review, 28th January 2006
"Fascinating...(t)his rather grim subject comes to seem profound, thanks to Russell's ruminative prose style and keen intelligence." -- The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
She begins with the so-called "hunger artists" who performed feats of fasting for audiences while sometimes up in cages overlooking traveled boulevards. It seems fasting was a bit of a fad in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She includes literary fasters like the protagonist of Kalka's story "A Hunger Artist" and that of Knut Hamsun's splendid short autobiographical novel Hunger (1890). She also gives us the all-time champ, holder of the record in the Guinness Book of Records (last acknowledged in 1971; Guinness no longer records fasts because of the dangers involved). His name is Mr. A.B. and he weighed 456 pounds when he began. 382 days later he weighed 180 pounds.
Next she shows how our digestive system works and how it changes during food deprivation--what happens after 36 hours, 7 days, 30 days. The details about ghrelin and leptin, glucose and ketones are fascinating. Then she recalls famous hunger strikes including some very interesting material on the suffragettes, the Irish Republicans and Mahatma Gandhi. Then comes the horror of the Warsaw Ghetto and, amazingly enough, the work of Jewish doctors in the ghetto who took that gruesome opportunity to measure and study the steps toward death by starvation.
Russell reports on "The Minnesota Experiment" during World War II in which young male conscientious objectors volunteered to go on an extended starvation diet so that doctors would know how to treat those in Europe and elsewhere after the war was over.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Some chapters illuminate fascinating chapters in the history of hunger. "The Hunger Disease Studies" narrates how internationally renowned Jewish scientists in the Warsaw Ghetto used the omnipresent starvation to perform scientific studies on every aspect of starvation, searching for meaning in terrible suffering. "The Minnesota Experiment" describes an enlightening study of starvation and refeeding during World War II. Russell casts her net wide, examining the social and biological aspects of anorexia, giving an inside view to famine relief in Somalia and Ethiopia, and showing how hunger affects children distinctly.
Russell's skilled prose makes even the World Health Organization's technical instructions on refeeding a malnourished child interesting. She reminds us that science is a kind of poetry. As with all the best non-fiction, her endnotes offer a wealth of fascinating literature on every aspect of hunger, a literature I'll be sure to dive into. As another reviewer wrote, Russell's writing "is an extraordinary mating of exciting, sure-footed science and inspired prose poetry" (Burlington Free Press, 10 August 2003).
There's only one little part I felt akward and it was the WHO manual to treat starving people, thus it was also informative, it's not like you are going to put it into practice in plain street and if you are going to give a hand in Africa, I hope you are going to read something else than three pharagraphs telling you not to give protein right away.-
Anyway I really think it's a great book, it captivated me and teach me a lot.-
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Food & Drink > Diets & Healthy Eating > Healthy Eating
- Books > Food & Drink > Diets & Healthy Eating > Low Fat
- Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle
- Books > History > Cultural History
- Books > History > Social & Economic History > Health & Welfare
- Books > History > World History
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Customs & Folklore > Customs
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Ethnography & Ethnology
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Social & Cultural
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Sociology