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Home > Catalogue > The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100
The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100
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  • 19 b/w illus. 15 tables
  • Page extent: 216 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.32 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521004886 | ISBN-10: 0521004888)

DOI: 10.2277/0521004888

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)


Nobel laureate Robert Fogel's compelling study, first published in 2004, examines health, nutrition and technology over the last three centuries and beyond. Throughout most of human history, chronic malnutrition has been the norm. During the past three centuries, however, a synergy between improvements in productive technology and in human physiology has enabled humans to more than double their average longevity and to increase their average body size by over 50 per cent. Larger, healthier humans have contributed to the acceleration of economic growth and technological change, resulting in reduced economic inequality, declining hours of work and a corresponding increase in leisure time. Increased longevity has also brought increased demand for health care. Professor Fogel argues that health care should be viewed as the growth industry of the twenty-first century and systems of financing it should be reformed. His book will be essential reading for all those interested in economics, demography, history and health care policy.

• Integrates recent advances in biodemography and economics of health • Forecasts the likely future of health, longevity, and economic well-being • Written for a general readership


List of figures; List of tables; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. The persistence of misery in Europe before 1900; 2. Why the twentieth century was remarkable; 3. Tragedies and miracles in the Third World; 4. Prospects for the twenty-first century; 5. Problems of equity in health care; Postscript: how long can we live?; Appendix; Glossary of technical terms; Biographical notes; References.


'Escape from Hunger is without a doubt one of Fogel's masterworks. Written in an accessible style, it is ideal for use in higher-level undergraduate and graduate courses.' Cormac Ógráda, University College, Dublin (EH.HET)

'This book is the result of impressively thorough research of an equally impressive amount of material. … This book is easily accessible and will be very valuable to scholars in disciplines including, but not limited to, demography, economic history and medicine. A useful glossary and biographical summaries contribute to make this a valuable addition to the literature.' Journal of Peace Research

'… Robert W. Fogel has written a fascinating book … a remarkable conglomerate of profound knowledge …' Journal of Biosocial Science

'… essential and exciting book …' History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

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