Hunger: An Unnatural History

Front Cover
Basic Books, Sep 6, 2005 - Science - 262 pages
Every day, we wake up hungry. Every day, we break our fast. Hunger explores the range of this primal experience. Sharman Apt Russell, the highly acclaimed author of Anatomy of a Rose and An Obsession with Butterflies, here takes us on a tour of hunger, from eighteen hours without food to thirty-six hours to seven days and beyond. What Russell finds-both in our bodies and in cultures around the world-is extraordinary. It is a biological process that transcends nature to shape the very of fabric of societies. In a fascinating survey of centuries of thought on hunger's unique power, she discovers an ability to adapt to it that is nothing short of miraculous. From the fasting saints of the early Christian church to activists like Mahatma Gandhi, generations have used hunger to make spiritual and political statements. Russell highlights these remarkable cases where hunger can inspire and even heal, but she also addresses the devastating impact of starvation on cultures around the world today. Written with consummate skill, a compassionate heart, and stocked with facts, figures, and fascinating lore, Hunger is an inspiring window on history and the human spirit.
 

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User Review  - vpfluke - LibraryThing

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when I first brought it home from the library. But, as I began to read it, I found it very engaging. Russell, has done quite a bit of research, and takes ... Read full review

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I highly recommend this book. It's not easy because the author brings something we all know into our minds in a subtle yet vivid way.
Real hunger is not a game.

Contents

1
1
EIGHTEEN HOURS
17
THE HUNGER DISEASE STUDIES
95
THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF HUNGER
137
1
169
1
187
1
205
SELECTED REFERENCES AND NOTES
231
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
261
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Sharman Apt Russell is the author of several books, including Hunger and Songs of the Fluteplayer, which won the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award. She has written for publications including Discover and Nature Conservancy, and currently contributes to OnEarth, the magazine for the National Resource Defense Council. Russell teaches creative writing at Western New Mexico University and at Antioch University in Los Angeles, California. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico.

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