Churchill’s Secret War

Most readers with an interest in world history are familiar with Ireland’s seven-year Potato Famine, which lasted from 1845 until 1852. Fewer know of the catastrophic 1943 famine that claimed up to three million lives in Bengal, an eastern Indian state and then British colony. In the fall of 1942, Bengal’s rice crop failed following a devastating cyclone. As World War ii raged on its eastern border with the Japanese invasion of Burma, Bengal went on to lose its source of rice imports. Despite this crisis, the enormous loss of life due to starvation was avoidable, argues author Madhusree Mukerjee, a former contributing editor at Scientific American.

Read the entire review of Churchill’s Secret War. pdf.