Within Our Grasp: Childhood Malnutrition Worldwide and the Revolution Taking Place To End It

Pantheon. Apr. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781524747244. $28.95. SOC SCI
Self-proclaimed “citizen scientist” Russell lives up to that title in her follow-up to Hunger: An Unnatural History. This latest work is an exploration of the history of relief work to eradicate childhood malnutrition and the science behind the tireless efforts of those involved. The narrative of her travels to places throughout the world brings readers a view into the lives and experiences of people affected by famine, drought, and poverty. Russell highlights topics such as agroecology, participatory research, and how creating jobs and implementing universal health care and equality in education can reduce and possibly eliminate the effects of poor childhood nutrition. She also writes that coordinating efforts with women living in rural communities can empower them and thus improve the lives of their children. This is an ideal update to previous works on the topic, including Seed Sovereignty, Food Security, by Vandana Shiva. Pictures and maps throughout add context.
VERDICT Russell’s passion for citizen science, the important subject she explores, and her jargon-free presentation of information relating to malnutrition will open worlds for most readers, from high school students to sociologists.
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