Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 4–18 | Cite as

Uneasy sacrifice: The politics of United States famine relief, 1945–48

  • Amy L. Bentley


The United States, which committed itself to alleviating the severe post-World War II global famine, failed to meet its relief commitments. Relief efforts failed largely because voluntary attempts at reducing consumption proved too difficult, and the U. S. government refused to return to mandatory rationing of food despite evidence indicating the majority of Americans, especially American women, would have welcomed such a move. Contributing to officials' opposition to mandatory post-war rationing were the revived ideology of government non-interference; a strong government/agriculture alliance; the focus on private, as opposed to public, interests and obligations; and increasing Cold War tensions precluding any worldwide efforts at famine relief. It seemed only the fear of Communist takeover could provoke Congress in partnership with business interests into sufficiently alleviating famine conditions, but only for those countries willing to abide by U. S. terms.


Veterinary Medicine American Woman Agricultural Economic Business Interest Relief Effort 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

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  • Amy L. Bentley

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