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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Mike Davis (P)2017 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Late Victorian Holocausts

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Mike Davis on Audible!

What made the experience of listening to Late Victorian Holocausts the most enjoyable?

So nice to listen to an engaged and sophisticated author read by an educated reader with a good voice who doesn't mispronounce names.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What does James Patrick Cronin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

If you could give Late Victorian Holocausts a new subtitle, what would it be?

The political economy of famine? No, I like the original subtitle.

Any additional comments?

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.

6 people found this helpful

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Good but dense

Very good and detailed about taking a new perspective on a story most people think they know. However, maybe read and don't listen. I wish I had charts or maps to follow along.

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Are you concerned about food security?

Delve into the past drought and famine cycles. Your appreciation of how history can guide in the challenging times ahead will be greatly enhanced with the detail of all aspects of selected famines that have scarred the world. The past failures have many echoes in modern times. The book takes to to tragic times and examines how each of the members of the societies coped with crisis and official neglect. These events live in today’s society even after 150 years. Very intelligent author.