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One Book One Northwestern 2013-2014: The Last Hunger Season: Book Reviews

Some of the responses to The Last Hunger Season:

Review by Emily F. Keller. From Philanthropy News Digest website, November 29, 2012.

"Youn is fighting more than just poverty and hunger; he's doing battle against a variety of structural impediments and entrenched interests. They include widespread corruption within the Kenyan government (illustrated in the book by a fraudulent attempt to steal some of Leonida's land), inept or unresponsive bureaucracy that blocks the release of high-output hybrid seeds, and decades of neglect by donor governments."

The Last Hunger Season: a fine but flawed study of poverty in rural Kenya -- Review by Magnus Taylor.  From the African Arguments website, November 26, 2012.

"Thurow is a refreshingly old-school reporter, so doesn’t feel the need to insert himself in to every scene – telling us all how everything made him feel. But he must have been a quiet and intelligent presence, taking in the struggles and choices his ‘protagonists’ encountered as they strove to grow enough food to live on, make enough money to send their children to school, buy rudimentary medicines to treat malaria and afford a few basic luxuries such as the odd chicken for Christmas dinner."

Review by Paul Collier. From the Washington Post, September 7, 2012.

"Why is Africa so dependent on imported food, despite being the least urbanized and most land-abundant continent? It is because African agriculture is so unproductive. Indeed, farm productivity is so low that not only are African farmers unable to feed Africa’s cities, they are unable to feed themselves. Day by day, year by year, hunger is even more common on Africa’s farms than on the streets of its cities."

Review by Alec Russell. From The Financial Times website, July 22, 2012.

"As Thurow angrily declaims, the recent neglect of and implicit disdain for the millions of smallholders both by African governments and the outside world, including the World Bank, has led to that terrible paradox of Africa: that it has cohorts of hungry, if not starving farmers. Now, however, that is changing as Annan, Clinton, Gates and others promote the precepts of Norman Borlaug, the prophet of Asia’s Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and update it with a gentle flavour of the free market."

Review by "Wolfshowl." From Opinions of a Wolf blog, May 31, 2012.

"Thurow strikes the perfect balance between narrating the farmers’ lives and knowledgeably discussing the global politics and environmental problems that also impact the hunger.  The information he hands out would be riveting in any case, but how he narrates it kicks it up to another level."