Book Book

The Malthus Factor

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7204.264a (Published 24 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:264
  1. Fred Paccaud, director
  1. Institut Universitaire de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Lausanne, Switzerland

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    Eric B Ross

    ZED Books, £14.95, pp 270

    ISBN 1 85649 564 7

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    Malthus's ideas are still popular today, and this book tries to explain why and how Malthus offers a political theory of poverty that rests on two principles: firstly, that poverty is originated by the poor themselves (that is, via their reproductive behaviour) and, secondly, that only external pressures on the poor can correct any imbalance between population and resources, namely moral pressure (sexual restraint) or violent circumstances (famine or war). According to Ross, the decades after Malthus's …

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