The Iron Famine


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Golden Mao Statue in China, Nearly Finished, Is Brought Down by Criticism

Journal List Med Hist v.

Tears from Iron by Kathryn Edgerton-Tarpley - Hardcover - University of California Press

Med Hist. Reviewed by Andrea Janku.

About the Author

Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Support Center Support Center.


  1. China Turns to Online Courses, and Mao, in Pursuit of Soft Power.
  2. Sometimes The Ending Sucks;
  3. Great Chinese Famine;
  4. How to handle the Challenges of the New Age.
  5. The Haploids.

External link. His "famine diary" described conditions. The sight of men and women lying helpless on the roadside, or if dead, torn by hungry dogs and magpies [and] of children being boiled and eaten up is so fearful as to make one shudder.

Shanxi was the most seriously affected province in the famine, with an estimated 5. Remote and inaccessible rural districts suffered most. To combat the famine, an international network was set up to solicit donations, most of which came from England and foreign businesses in China.

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More than 40 Roman Catholic and 31 Protestant missionaries administered the relief efforts in the field, which helped about 3. Three Protestant missionaries died of disease, probably typhus , which was rampant in the famine area. The Qing government, Chinese philanthropists, and businessmen also responded to the famine, raising funds with an illustrated pamphlet titled "Pictures to Draw Tears from Iron".

There was rivalry between the foreign and Chinese relief efforts. The Chinese feared the missionaries would use their famine work to spread Christianity and to adopt and Christianize orphaned children. They raised large sums of money to establish orphanages and to redeem women and children who had been sold into slavery.

While most foreign relief focused on Shanxi, the private Chinese effort was mostly in Henan, whose people they believed to be fiercely anti-foreign, and Shandong. In June , heavy rains began to fall in much of the famine area, and with the harvest that fall, the worst of the famine was over. However, many rural areas had been depopulated by starvation, disease, and the migration of destitute people to urban areas.

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