The Great Starvation Experiment: Ancel Keys and the Men Who Starved for Science

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U of Minnesota Press, 2007 - Medical - 270 pages
4 Reviews

“The Great Starvation Experiment is wide-ranging, weaving progress in the war into the day-to-day suffering of the hungry volunteers.” —Saint Paul Pioneer Press

“Fascinating . . .” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

Near the end of World War II, thirty-six conscientious objectors volunteered to be systematically starved for renowned scientist Ancel Keys's study at the University of Minnesota in the basement of Memorial Stadium. Aimed to benefit relief efforts in war-ravaged Europe and Asia, the study sought the best way to rehabilitate starving citizens. Tucker captures a lost moment in American history—a time when stanch idealism and a deep willingness to sacrifice trumped even basic human needs.

“Tucker provides a fascinating and moving history of the experiment, centering on the lives and experiences of the volunteers and the formidable obstacles they overcame. Tucker tells the story with verve and economy. . . . Keys, his experiment and his 36 starving men form a compelling combination.” —Publishers Weekly

Todd Tucker is the author of several books, including Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan (2004). He served on the legendary Navy submarine USS Alabama before moving to Valparaiso, Indiana.


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THE GREAT STARVATION EXPERIMENT: The Heroic Men Who Starved So That Millions Could Live

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Workmanlike account of a scientific study on the effects of starvation on the human body and mind, conducted in Minnesota in 1944 and 1945. Tucker (Notre Dame vs. the Klan, not reviewed) interviewed ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ariffo - LibraryThing

Interesting book on a little-known study conducted during WWII on 36 men who offered themselves as volunteers to study the effects of starvation and the best way to rehabilitate starvation victims ... Read full review


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The Stigmata of Starvation
Restricted Rehabilitation
The Helsinki Declaration
The Cover of Time
Unrestricted Rehabilitation

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About the author (2007)

Todd Tucker received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Notre Dame and served as an officer with the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine force. He is the author of "Notre Dame Game Day" (Diamond Communications, 2000) and "Notre Dame vs. the Klan" (Loyola Press, 2004). He has written for several national magazines, including TWA Ambassador, The Rotarian and Inside Sports. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, with his family. Visit his Web site at

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