Examining a series of El Niño-induced droughts and the famines that they spawned around the globe in the last third of the 19th 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. Late Victorian Holocausts focuses on three zones of drought 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 drought were magnified in each case because of singularly destructive policies promulgated by different ruling elites. Davis argues 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 of peasants' lives.
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Mike Davis on Audible!
So nice to listen to an engaged and sophisticated author read by an educated reader with a good voice who doesn't mispronounce names.
We get a glimpse of our future on how climate change will devastate the poor and improve the position of the elites, unless there is real resistance. The descriptions of the famines impact in the global south are harrowing.
The thing is he was great because he didn't make the audio experience substantially worse then if I read the book. I would love to read all the time but audio books are just more convenient.
The political economy of famine? No, I like the original subtitle.
It's great that Verso is finally putting some of its catalogue on audio. I hope they do this for all Mike Davis books. Then they can start on Perry Anderson.
- Nathan D. Backlund