I decided this looked interesting when I saw it mentioned on The Fanatic Cook (a blog) and got it out of the library.
This is a fascinating book, covering the physical and psychological effects of hunger, but it also takes a dark turn about halfway through, covering starvation and malnutrition, and what's being done (or possibly more often not done) about them. The descriptions of what went on in the midst of World War II are heartbreaking.
What this book doesn't really cover much is the political and social aspects that cause famine. They're mentioned as being the real problem in several cases (e.g., Somalia), as opposed to a simple lack of food, but it doesn't really explain what they are. It does, however, point out our bias towards children in advertising and treating the problem, and asks why we aren't (really) treating the adults who could be growing and distributing more food.
This book is interesting, starting with a description of the biological processes that occur during hunger, and going on to the big picture, but it also offers a challenge. The author confesses:
While in Guatemala, I also went to a few tourist sites, [...] where I easily spent seventy-five dollars many times over. That was my epiphany. I will give money to the woman in Tejar and to organizations like Concern Worldwide. I will help--but only so much, only so far. It is not that I believe these children are less than my own. It is not that I believe I do not have a responsibility for them. It is just that in a world of haves and have-nots, I do not want to give up too much of what I have. I do not want to diminish the complexity and diversity of my life. Instead, I will choose to spend another seventy-five dollars on myself rather than send another child to school, and I will choose to do this over and over again. I no longer think of myself as a good person. I have adjusted to that. (emphasis added)