rusq: Vol. 52 Issue 2: p. 167
Sources: Food and Famine in the 21st Century
Marion S. Muskiewicz

Science Reference Librarian, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

This comprehensive two-volume set provides detailed information on all aspects of famine, as well as the growing of our food and the nutrition it supplies. Volume 1, arranged in encyclopedic style, contains 50 long articles on topics associated with both food and famine. The lengthy articles (8–12 pages each) cover diverse topics from Genetically Modified Food and Arable Land, to Sustainable Food Production and Deficiency Diseases. Each signed article contains in-depth information, accompanied by occasional brief sidebars, tables and occasional black and white illustrations. All items include good-sized up to date bibliographies for further research.

Volume 2 looks at ten specific famine areas in depth, covering either specific famines (Irish, Dutch) or surveying the history of famines in a particular country or area (India, Russia, China). These extremely long and detailed articles (30–50 pages each) analyze each of the areas, summarizing famine history, causes, extent, reactions, assistance, and aftermath. Most include a few charts or graphs to illustrate major points about each famine. Complex interactions cause most famines but trigger events can range from a fungus in Ireland to drought in Africa to an unusual monsoon year in India. Preventable famines receive extended discussion, with well-reasoned arguments. In addition to a “Further Reading” section after each article, additional bibliographies appear at the end of the volume. The Introduction in Volume 2 covers famines of more ancient times, classifying them by area and kind, and a postscript discusses what to expect in the future, while also covering famines in Israel as an example of what might happen in this century.

Dr. Dando, (Geography professor emeritus, Indiana State University) has gathered a superb team of researchers, knowledgeable in all aspects of food, nutrition, and famine to create these volumes, after being requested by ABC-CLIO to do so. He contributed the preface, a lengthy introduction/overview to each volume and thirteen of the articles in volume 1, 7 sections in volume 2, and many of the sidebars. Recommended for high school age and above.

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