Agriculture and Food in Crisis: Conflict, Resistance, and Renewal
New book from Monthly Review Press by Fred Magdoff and Brian Tokar
The failures of “free-market” capitalism are perhaps nowhere more evident than in the production and distribution of food. Although modern human societies have attained unprecedented levels of wealth, a significant amount of the world’s population continues to suffer from hunger or food insecurity on a daily basis. In Agriculture and Food in Crisis, Fred Magdoff and Brian Tokar have assembled an exceptional collection of scholars from around the world to explore this frightening long-term trend in food production. While approaching the issue from many angles, the contributors to this volume share a focus on investigating how agricultural production is shaped by a system that is oriented around the creation of profit above all else, with food as nothing but an afterthought.
As the authors make clear, it is technically possible to feed to world’s people, but it is not possible to do so as long as capitalism exists. Toward that end, they examine what can be, and is being, done to create a human-centered and ecologically sound system of food production, from sustainable agriculture and organic farming on a large scale to movements for radical land reform and national food sovereignty. This book will serve as an indispensable guide to the years ahead, in which world politics will no doubt come to be increasingly understood as food politics.
Fred Magdoff is professor emeritus at the University of Vermont and adjunct professor at Cornell University. He has written extensively on soil fertility, ecological approaches to agriculture, and political economy, and is co-author of The ABCs of the Economic Crisis (with Michael D. Yates) and The Great Financial Crisis (with John Bellamy Foster).
Brian Tokar is a long-time activist and author, and current director of the Institute for Social Ecology based in Plainfield, Vermont. He is the author of Toward Climate Justice, The Green Alternative, and Earth for Sale and lectures widely on a variety of environmental and political topics.