The Politics of Famine

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As famine in Somalia worsens, Thomas Keneally, award winning author of Three Famines: Starvation and Politics, discusses the history and politics of famines in the age of global relief agencies.


Thomas Keneally

Comments [8]

jgarbuz from Queens

To Jeff,

Because precisely in poor countries, children are a treasure and the family is expected to help each other. Unlike wealthy societies, where the social safety net means less reliance on kin, and children are nothing but pets. Families are optional luxuries, not closely knit clans.

Sep. 14 2011 11:50 AM

Aid groups are a mixed bag. In Haiti, they commit abuses. Then there's all that stealing going on.

Foreign meddlers, esp the U.S. should just stay the f*** out of other countries at all times. Then these tragedies wouldn't happen in such widespread ways.

Sep. 14 2011 11:46 AM
Jeff from nyc- manhattan

Perhaps a naive question:
Why is there 'massive' population growth in such a dry and poor continent?

Sep. 14 2011 11:45 AM
rose-ellen from jackson hts.

It's not famine fatique but deliberate starvation on the part of america. Because we don't want to do business with alshabab and people can be arrested as collaborators with terrorism if they do, we would rather let people slowily starve to death then abandon our policy . Of course alshabab did not throw out the aid groups but we left rather then pay them or submit to their required codes of conduct. We are scapegoating them to hide the fact that it is we who have chosen to write off all people under their control.We, in the 21st c are using food as a weapon. Not unlike Stalin.Though we have the propaganda machine empowered to hide that fact and change the story.

Sep. 14 2011 11:44 AM
Brian Lehrer Show producers

We've edited some of the comments. Please remember to stay civil and on topic.

Sep. 14 2011 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

He is right, that the Marxist Mengistu regime spending on arms had a lot to do with the state of Somalia today. Plenty of arms, but no food. Just like NOrth Korea or any commie country :)

Sep. 14 2011 11:38 AM
Susan Blackburn from Short Hills, NJ

Could Mr. Keneally speak a little bit about the Irish Potato famine and the famine in the Ukraine in the 1930's, as they apply to the thesis of his book.

Sep. 14 2011 11:36 AM

There prolly wouldn't be a famine in Somalia if the U.S. hadn't been destabilizing it for decades.

Sep. 14 2011 11:32 AM

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