In a groundbreaking book based on six years of reporting, leading expert on humanitarian aid and development David Rieff offers a review of whether the end of extreme poverty and widespread hunger are within our reach. Some of the most brilliant scientists, world politicians, and development experts agree that the eradication of hunger is an essential task for the new millennium. Yet in the last decade, the prices of wheat, soy and rice have soared. This has condemned the hundreds of millions of the world's population who live on less than one dollar per day to a state of hunger and insecurity. Rieff searches for the causes of this food security crisis, as well as what lies behind the failures to respond to disaster: failures to address climate change, poor governance, and misguided optimism. Rieff cautions against the increased privatization of aid, as well as the interventions of celebrity campaigners, whose business-led solutions rob development of political urgency. He dismisses the idle hope of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that food scarcity can be solved by technological innovation alone, The path ahead, Rieff reminds us, demands we rethink the fundamental causes of the world's grotesque inequalities and understand that what is at stake is a political challenge we are failing to confront.--Adapted from book jacket.