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Examines a series of disasters at the end of the 19th century, exacerbated by the policies of ruling elites, and argues that the seeds of current underdevelopment were sown in this period of High Imperialism.
Mike Davis is the author of City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear and Magical Urbanism. He lives in Papa'aloa, Hawaii
"Davis has given us a book of substantial contemporary relevance as well as great historical interest."
– Amartya Sen, New York Times
"A masterly account of climactic, economic and colonial history."
– New Scientist
"Generations of historians largely ignored the implications [of the great famines of the nineteenth century] and until recently dismissed them as 'climactic accidents' [...] Late Victorian Holocausts proves them wrong."
– LA Times, Best Books of 2001
"David, a brilliant, maverick scholar, sets the triumph of late-nineteenth-century Western imperialism in the context of the catastrophic El Niño weather patterns at that time [...] This is groundbreaking, mind-stretching stuff."
– The Independent
"Wide Ranging and compelling [...] a remarkable achievement."
– Times Literary Supplement
"Davis's range is stunning [...] He combines political economy, meteorology, and ecology with vivid narratives to create a book that is both a gripping read and a major conceptual achievement."
– Kenneth Pomeranz
"A tour de force of multidisciplinary research, which places climatic change centre stage in recent history. It offers a sobering lesson in climatic and environmental climatic vulnerability that applies with equal and even more devastating force in today's world."
– Brian Fagan, Professor of Archaeology, University of California