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Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World Hardcover – 21 Dec 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; First Edition edition (21 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859847390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859847398
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 16.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,284,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Davis has given us a book of substantial contemporary relevance as well as great historical interest."--Amartya Sen"A masterly account of climatic, economic and colonial history."--"New Scientist""A hero of the Left, Davis is part polemicist, part historian, and all Marxist."--Dale Peck, "Village Voice""Davis, a brilliant maverick scholar, sets the triumph of the late-nineteenth-century Western imperialism in the context of the catastrophic El Nino weather patterns at that time ... This is groundbreaking, mind-stretching stuff."--"The Independent""Wide ranging and compelling ... a remarkable achievement."--"Times Literary Supplement""Generations of historians largely ignored the implications [of the great famines of the late nineteenth century] and until recently dismissed them as 'climatic accidents' ... "Late Victorian Holocausts" proves them wrong."--"LA Times Best Books of 2001""Devastating."--"The San Francisco Chronicle""The global climate meets a globalizing political economy, the fundamentals of one clashing with the fundamentalisms of the other. Mike Davis tells the story with zest, anger, and insight."--Stephen J. Pyne, author of "World Fire""Davis's range is stunning ... . He combines political economy, meteorology, and ecology with vivid narratives to create a book that is both a gripping read and a major conceptual achievement. Lots of us talk about writing 'world history' and 'inter-disciplinary history' here is the genuine article."--Kenneth Pomeranz, author of "The Great Divergence"

From the Back Cover

Winner of the World History Association Book Award for 2002

Examining a series of El Nino-induced droughts and the famines that they spawned around the globe in the last third of the nineteenth century. Mike Davis discloses the intimate, baleful relationship between imperial arrogance and natural incident that combined to produce some of the worst tragedies in human history and to sow the seeds of underdevelopment in what later became known as the Third World.

Late Victorian Holocausts, focuses on the three zones of draught and subsequent famine: India, Northern China, and Northeastern Brazil. All were affected by the same global climatic factors that caused massive crop failures, and all experienced brutal famines that decimated local populations. But the effects of draught were magnified in each case because of singularly destructive policies promulgated by differing ruling elites, policies that in effect were crimes against humanity.

In this his black book of liberal capitalism, Davis exposes the human costs of globalization; arguing that the seeds of underdevelopment in what later became known as the Third World were sown in this era of high imperialism, as the price for capitalist modernization was paid in the currency of millions and millions of peasants' lives.

Late Victorian Holocausts is the first serious examination of El Nino's imprint on modern history. As globalization continues, seemingly unchecked, and we pass silently through the centenary of the 1899-1902 famines in India, Davis presents a shocking indictment of the costs of imperialism and ignorance, arrogance and sloth.

'Davis has given us a book of substantial contemporary relevance as well as great historical interest.' Amartya Sen

'A masterly account of climatic, economic and colonial history.' New Scientist

'Generations of historians largely ignored the implications [of the great famines of the late nineteenth century] and until recently dismissed them as 'climatic accidents' ... Late Victorian Holocausts proves them wrong.' LA Times Best Books of 2001

'Davis, a brilliant maverick scholar, sets the triumph of late-nineteenth-century Western imperialism in the context of the catastrophic El Nino weather patterns at that time ... This is groundbreaking, mind-stretching stuff.' The Independent

'Wide ranging and compelling ... a remarkable achievement.' Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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