The New Breadline: Hunger and Hope in the Twenty-First Century (Hardcover)

The New Breadline: Hunger and Hope in the Twenty-First Century By Jean-Martin Bauer Cover Image
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A humanitarian leader with more than two decades of experience working for the United Nations takes aim at the global food crisis—revealing how hunger anywhere affects lives everywhere and what steps we can take to change course.

"This book should be required reading for the entire human race."
—Jonathan Safran Foer, author of We Are the Weather

At the turn of the twenty-first century, more than 150 countries pledged to eradicate hunger by 2030. But with only a few years left, we’re far from reaching that goal. Instead, hunger is on the rise—America itself recently experienced levels of food insecurity not seen since the Great Depression. How could the richest nation in the world have so many people going hungry?

In The New Breadline, aid worker and activist Jean-Martin Bauer unravels this paradox. Bauer’s family fled to America during the terrors of the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Now on the brink of mass starvation, Haiti and its grim history inspired Bauer to make food justice his life's work. During his long career with the UN, Bauer learned firsthand that the problem of hunger is always political—and like all political conditions, hunger, he knew, was something we could work to change.

Drawing from his fieldwork in the most hunger-prone countries across the globe—from Haiti, where elites hoard imported French cheese, to Madagascar, where foreign corporations are snatching up valuable land from local farmers, to right here in America, where the lines at food banks continue to grow—Bauer weaves profound personal insight with a keen understanding of the structural systems of racism, classism, and sexism that thwart true progress in the battle against hunger. The New Breadline is an inspiring call to action to end what he persuasively argues is one of the greatest threats to our society, boldly envisioning a world where we can always feed ourselves and one another.

About the Author

JEAN-MARTIN BAUER has served with the World Food Programme in the Sahel and central Africa and has responded to food emergencies in Afghanistan and Syria. Bauer has led WFP country offices in the Republic of the Congo and in Haiti. His work has also focused on leveraging digital tech and analytics to fight hunger. A Washington, DC, native, Bauer holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Harvard Kennedy School.

Praise For…

"Memorable… The book is a close-up look at efforts to vanquish hunger amid both major, front-page disasters, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the Syrian civil war, and the countless lower-profile calamities that are documented on the inside pages, if at all… What makes The New Breadline so compelling, though, are… the small details Bauer shares from a realm that usually operates out of the public eye… One effect of this book is to leave the reader oddly hopeful about the prospects for mitigating these nightmares, having given us a glimpse of the deeply committed people working to overcome them, again and again.”
—Alec MacGillis, New York Times Book Review

“No subject more urgently requires our attention than world hunger. I cannot imagine a more thoughtful and humane introduction to the crisis of food security than The New Breadline."
—Jonathan Safran Foer, author of We Are the Weather

"In the midst of the global food crisis, I find myself searching for stories of hope with tangible solutions now more than ever. In The New Breadline, Jean-Martin Bauer draws upon a lifetime on the frontlines of fighting hunger to deliver a must-read handbook that will inform, inspire, and ignite action to repair our broken food system."
 —José Andrés, Chef and Founder of World Central Kitchen 

 “The New Breadline is a narratively-compelling, timely, and prescriptive book about the problems of hunger and food security in today’s world. Bauer writes with intelligence and brio about a topic he knows extremely well. Drawing on a superb grasp of history and his own experiences as a humanitarian worker who has dealt with food crises around the world—everywhere from Haiti and the Middle East to Africa—Bauer offers practical pathways to hope.” 
—Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad

"Hunger should be a historical topic but Jean-Martin Bauer evocatively positions it as a core facet of our modern world. His unique vantage point — that of a front-line humanitarian leader — brings an analysis informed by hard ground truths to this urgent topic. Humanitarians, development leaders, and anyone who cares about hunger and the forces that drive it will find this book illuminating and important.
—Raj Kumar, President & Editor-in-Chief of Devex

“Few writers tackle the world of international hunger, and Jean-Martin Bauer has seen what they’ve missed. His years on the frontlines in battle against malnutrition have made him acutely sensitive to what works, and what doesn’t. But Bauer weaves his knowledge into prose that reads like he's sharing stories late at night under a kerosene lamp. The New Breadline is a tremendous book that’ll linger long after you’ve turned the last page.”
—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved

“In The New Breadline, Jean-Martin Bauer gives us a fascinating portrait of international aid and the complications, contradictions, and casual heroism that underpin the global fight to end hunger. Swinging easily from the personal to the political, weaving rich history with lived experience, and crisscrossing the global without flattening it, Bauer manages to transform complex geopolitical forces into a page turner. The New Breadline offers no simplistic answers and will complicate easy pictures of right and wrong, but never withholds glimpses of joy and hope. A must read for anyone interested in foreign food aid, for anyone who wants to understand our global food supply chain, for anyone who eats and wants to appreciate their food. Bravo."
—Benjamin Lorr, author of The Secret Life of Groceries

"A clear-voiced call for ways to address the urgent need to feed billions of hungry people."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593321683
ISBN-10: 0593321685
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English