Needless Hunger: Voices from a Bangladesh Village
Bangladesh is Not a Hopeless Basketcase...
Why is a country with some of the world's most fertile land also the home of so many hungry people?
Betsy Hartmann and James Boyce, both Bengali-speaking anthropologists, spent two years in Bangladesh investigating the paradox of hunger in a "basketcase" country that actually produces enough grain for its people.
Needless Hunger follows the history and structure of Bangladesh society,
and also draws us into the daily lives of the people of Katni, the village where
the authors lived.
"There is no natural barrier to filling the basic human needs of Bangladesh's
people," they conclude. "But there is the man-made barrier of a social
order benefiting the few at the expense of the many." They found that the
foreign aid pouring into the country actually entrenches the very elite who
keep the majority powerless and hungry.
Needless Hunger is also a book of hope, describing the strength and
potential of the Bangladesh people, and their desire for a society where food-producing
resources are controlled by the majority.
Table of Contents
Hunger in a Fertile Land
Chapter One: The Paradox
Chapter Two: Riches to Rags
The Making of Hunger
Chapter Three: Who Owns the Land?
Shaha Paikur. Landlord, Merchant, and Moneylender
Chapter Four: Siphoning the Surplus
The Trials of a Poor Peasant Family
Chapter Five: The Inefficiency of Inequality
The Death of a Landless Laborer
Chapter Six: What is the Alternative?
Us and Them
Chapter Seven: Foreign Aid: A Helping Hand?
Family Planning Comes to Bangladesh
Chapter Eight: What Can We Do?