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During the twentieth century, 80 percent of all famine victims worldwide died in China and the Soviet Union. In this rigorous and thoughtful study, Felix Wemheuer analyzes the historical and political roots of these socialist era famines, in which overambitious industrial programmes endorsed by Stalin and Mao Zedong created greater disasters than those suffered under prerevolutionary regimes. Focusing on famine as a political tool, Wemheuer systematically exposes how conflicts about food among peasants, urban populations, and the socialist state resulted in the starvation to death of millions. A major contribution to Chinese and Soviet history, this provocative analysis examines the long-term effects of the great famines on the relationship between the state and its citizens and argues that the lessons governments learned from the catastrophes enabled them to overcome famine in their later decades of rule.
In this bold and innovative study of famine and 'food politics', Wemheuer is intellectually fearless, tackling big questions and bringing a welcome spirit of scholarly dispassion to current debates, while never losing sight of the awfulness of his subject. --Steve Smith, All Souls College, Oxford--Steve Smith (03/25/2014)
Publication date: 02/09/2014
Publisher: Yale University Press
|Publication date:||2nd September 2014|
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||Asian history, European history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000,|
Felix Wemheuer is assistant professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies at the University of Vienna. He has published three books on twentieth-century Chinese political history and numerous journal articles.More About Felix Wemheuer