Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World

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  • Edition: 00
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 6/17/2002
  • Publisher: VERSO

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Examining aseries of El Niņo-induced droughts and the famines that they spawnedaround the globe in the last third of the 19th century, Mike Davisdiscloses the intimate, baleful relationship between imperial arroganceand natural incident that combined to produce some of the worsttragedies 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 sameglobal climatic factors that caused massive crop failures, and allexperienced brutal famines that decimated local populations. But theeffects of drought were magnified in each case because of singularlydestructive policies promulgated by different ruling elites. Davisargues that the seeds of underdevelopment in what later became known asthe Third World were sown in this era of High Imperialism, as the pricefor capitalist modernization was paid in the currency of millions ofpeasants' lives.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Preface 1(16)
A Note on Definitions 17(6)
Part I The Great Drought 1876-1878 23(94)
Victoria's Ghosts
`The Poor Eat Their Homes'
Gunboats and Messiahs
Part II El Nino and the New Imperialism 1888-1902 117(94)
The Government of Hell
Skeletons at the Feast
Millenarian Revolutions
Part III Decyphering ENSO 211(66)
The Mystery of the Monsoons
Climates of Hunger
Part IV The Political Ecology of Famine 277(118)
The Origins of the Third World
India: The Modernization of Poverty
China: Mandates Revoked
Brazil: Race and Capital in the Nordeste
Glossary 395(4)
Notes 399(52)
Index 451

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