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Famine in European History

$32.99 (G)

Guido Alfani, Cormac Ó Gráda, Donatella Strangio, Luca Mocarelli, Vicente Perez Moreda, Gerard Béaur, Jean-Michel Chevet, Dominik Collet, Daniel Krämer, Daniel Curtis, Jessica Dijkman, Thijs Lambrecht, Eric Vanhaute, Richard Hoyle, Martin Dribe, Mats Olsson, Patrick Svensson, Stephen Wheatcroft
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  • Date Published: August 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316631836

$ 32.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • This is the first systematic study of famine in all parts of Europe from the Middle Ages until the present. In case studies ranging from Scandinavia and Italy to Ireland and Russia, leading scholars compare the characteristics, consequences and causes of famine. The famines they describe differ greatly in size, duration and context; in many cases the damage wrought by poor harvests was confounded by war. The roles of human action, malfunctioning markets and poor relief are a recurring theme. The chapters also take full account of demographic, institutional, economic, social and cultural aspects, providing a wealth of new information which is organized and analyzed within a comparative framework. Famine in European History represents a significant new contribution to demographic history, and will be of interest to all those who want to discover more about famines - truly horrific events which, for centuries, have been a recurring curse for the Europeans.

    • Covers almost all of Europe, providing an understanding of famines beyond the regional level
    • Famines are examined from demographic, socio-economic, cultural and institutional perspectives
    • A lengthy introduction highlights the crucial findings and broad comparisons of the entire volume
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A wide-ranging and deeply informed collection of essays on a painful but historically important and fascinating phenomenon: famine in the European past. Covering many centuries and the entire continent, the essays are deeply researched and rely on sensible economic and statistical analysis. Edited by two world-renowned experts, this is one of the best anthologies on any topic in economic history to appear in a long time.' Joel Mokyr, Northwestern University, Illinois

    'A seminal exercise in historical comparison which places Europe’s many own grim encounters with death-dealing famine in a wholly new perspective.' Bruce M. S. Campbell, The Queen's University of Belfast

    'In this remarkable book Alfani and Ó Gráda present a broad sweep of the history of famine in Europe, showing continental trends over a period of time from the late middle ages to second world war. In an age when famine threatens to re-emerge as a global scourge, this book is a poignant reminder that not so very long ago, famine stalked the economies that are today among the world’s wealthiest.' Daniel Maxwell, Tufts University, Massachusetts

    'The editors have brought together the first truly comparative, Europe-wide measurement and assessment of famines as killing events from the late Middle Ages to World War II. The essays and the editorial introduction are strikingly effective in demonstrating that although many famines effecting large geographical regions were sparked by failures of agrarian output, their final outcomes were never purely a result of natural processes.' Richard Smith, University of Cambridge

    'An important and comprehensive contribution … Anyone doing research on famine, regardless of era and location, should find these essays of interest and use. Essential.' M. J. Frost, Choice

    'This impressive volume presents a series of quantitatively rich historical studies by leading scholars that together offer a broad picture of famine in Europe - scale, context, and cause and effect - from medieval times onward.' Geoffrey McNicoll, Population and Development Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316631836
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Famines in Europe: an overview Guido Alfani and Cormac Ó Gráda
    2. Italy Guido Alfani, Donatella Strangio and Luca Mocarelli
    3. Spain Vicente Perez Moreda
    4. France Gerard Béaur and Jean-Michel Chevet
    5. Germany, Switzerland and Austria Dominik Collet and Daniel Krämer
    6. Low Countries Daniel Curtis, Jessica Dijkman, Thijs Lambrecht and Eric Vanhaute
    7. Britain Richard Hoyle
    8. Ireland Cormac Ó Gráda
    9. Nordic Europe Martin Dribe, Mats Olsson and Patrick Svensson
    10. Eastern Europe (Russia and the USSR) Stephen Wheatcroft
    11. The European famines of World War I and II Stephen Wheatcroft and Cormac Ó Gráda.

  • Editors

    Guido Alfani, Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan
    Guido Alfani is Associate Professor of Economic History at Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan. An economic and social historian and an historical demographer, he has published extensively on Early Modern Italy and Europe, specialising in the history of famines and epidemics, in economic inequality, and in social alliance systems. He is the author of Calamities and the Economy in Renaissance Italy: The Grand Tour of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2013) and is currently the Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded project EINITE, 'Economic Inequality across Italy and Europe 1300–1800.'

    Cormac Ó Gráda, University College Dublin
    Cormac Ó Gráda is Professor Emeritus of Economics at University College Dublin. He was awarded the Royal Irish Academy's gold medal for the humanities in 2009 and is currently president-elect of the Economic History Association. He has published on topics ranging from the European Little Ice Age and London's last plague epidemics to the origins of the Industrial Revolution. Recent works include Jewish Ireland in the Age of Joyce (2006), Famine: A Short History (2009), and Eating People Is Wrong and Other Essays on the History and Future of Famine (2015).


    Guido Alfani, Cormac Ó Gráda, Donatella Strangio, Luca Mocarelli, Vicente Perez Moreda, Gerard Béaur, Jean-Michel Chevet, Dominik Collet, Daniel Krämer, Daniel Curtis, Jessica Dijkman, Thijs Lambrecht, Eric Vanhaute, Richard Hoyle, Martin Dribe, Mats Olsson, Patrick Svensson, Stephen Wheatcroft

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