This is an important and innovative book which was well-received and attracted much media attention when it appeared in hardback in 1990. It advocates a new approach to the relief of famine and hardship in developing countries by addressing the political issues that prevent fair distribution of resources, rather than by simply seeking to provide more food and services. As such this book could prove extremely influential, and, in paperback, will be more easily available to relief agencies and third world charities, as well as to students and concerned individuals. Amartya Sen, the co-author is internationally eminent - he is a former delegate and Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford, and he recently won the Fiat-sponsored Giovanni Agnelli Prize for promoting the understanding of ethical issues in modern society. Lengthy articles about Sen and his books have appeared in The Independent, the Times Higher Education Supplement, and the New York Review of Books, to name a few.

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