Famine killed 7 million people in USA

Apparently, according to Russian researcher Boris Borisov, famine during the Great Depression in 1931 – 1932 in America killed over 7 million Americans.

The researcher, Boris Borisov, in his article titled “The American Famine” estimated the victims of the financial crisis in the US at over seven million people. The researcher also directly compared the US events of 1932-1933 with Holodomor, or Famine, in the USSR during 1932-1933.

In the article, Borisov used the official data of the US Census Bureau. Having revised the number of the US population, birth and date rates, immigration and emigration, the researcher came to conclusion that the United States lost over seven million people during the famine of 1932-1933.
“According to the US statistics, the US lost not less than 8 million 553 thousand people from 1931 to 1940. Afterwards, population growth indices change twice instantly exactly between 1930-1931: the indices drop and stay on the same level for ten years. There can no explanation to this phenomenon found in the extensive text of the report by the US Department of Commerce “Statistical Abstract of the United States,” the author wrote. Famine killed 7 million people in USA

I’ve never seen published data on how many people died in the Great Depresssion. All the news clips I’ve seen and read, including the movie, “The Grapes of Wrath” never state how bad it was.

Wikipedia apparently deleted the article and a quick search on Google did not turn it up either.

I would guess that another famine here would kill many more people then this. Our oil dependency and widely distributed and highly increased population base, city density, loss of knowledge and loss of farmland, topsoil, drought, etc., would make this much worse (including multiple climate change effects, it’s now flooding here for example).

Nobody knows what the number might be and it depends on whose estimate you are inclined to believe, but mine is in the range of 200,000,000+ from all the effects leading to (unnatural) death combined.

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7 thoughts on “Famine killed 7 million people in USA

  • May 23, 2008 at 4:57 am
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    I’ve read a couple of books on the farm-side aspect of the Great Depression and death tolls beyond the occasional suicide were not mentioned there, either. Interesting.
  • May 23, 2008 at 5:12 am
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    I don’t recall actual starvation mention by the folks interviewed by Studs Terkel either. Nor by any family members when I tried to get THEM to talk about the Depression.

    I DO recall reading that ‘people were forced to eat weeds!’. Well, yeah, we’ve discussed that here in terms of Orlov’s comparison between the US and Russia, that Russians got by the collapse of the Soviet Union in part by having a history of doing that.

    Fern

  • May 23, 2008 at 5:51 am
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    Orlov’s book is out, btw. It is short (at a mere 160 pages), but excellent, just as one would expect.
  • May 25, 2008 at 3:56 am
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    Great post.

    I think shame accompanies starvation, especially in this country. Perhaps the starvation hit the poor and elderly hardest. Wasn’t social security in direct response to the deaths of our old during the depression? We are not that decent now, today we would not do it.

    It has become very hard to believe any historical account. They are written by the winners and survivors, and those who suffer and die needlessly seem easily rationalized away. Our current culture is absolutely indifferent to suffering and death.

    Witness Katrina, gone from the news cycle. Who died in Katrina? The old and the poor. And they got blamed for not getting out of town. Nobody gave a damn, and nobody gives a damn now in any useful way. My daughter is working in the 9th ward and she says it is still a third world country there.

    Somehow we have sworn we will never have another post Katrina failure, but we have used this resolve as a pretext for continued neglect in Katrina’s aftermath. We have already swept Katrina under our cultural rug — mission accomplished, we will do better. How can we be so shallow, and so completely mad? I think this is why we don’t remember starvation during the Depression. I believe all history is revisionist, and rationalizes away suffering through glossing and omission.

    What’s coming fast is really the “big dance”. According to my understanding we already have $5 gasoline coming based on $130 oil in a few weeks, and that’s only the beginning. Time for the REALLY big dance. Tha tha, tha, tha that’s all folks!!

    MD

  • May 25, 2008 at 1:08 pm
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    Much as I’d love to buy Orlov’s book – I spend my blessed $20 credit at a bookstore on a book on bike maintainance and repair. Park the car, work the garden, learn a skill … I suppose I could read the book at the bookstore and send Orlov his cut of the selling price. But that wouldn’t help him with his publisher, who will look only at book sales, or bookstores that will put the book in more promenant places if it SELLS more.

    We who write and sell software have these dilemmas…..

    Fern

  • May 25, 2008 at 4:03 pm
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    Okay, one of the next purchases is going to be more garden and work gloves. Son and I went to the CSA farm and worked – hoeing. They had said we’d be picking strawberries, so I hadn’t brought gloves. My hands are not yet callosed, so I blistered almost immediately, and then the blister broke. Being a Mom, I took a bandage out of my wallet, slapped it on, and kept working.

    We finished the entire area of head lettuce, dry clay soil that it was in and all. Owner commented that we lasted longer than any of the other workers who had been doing hoeing.

    Ironically, I don’t even WANT much more lettuce – they give more than our family can use. But that’s one of the crops that many of the others want. And I’ll do anything that helps keep the local farm afloat.

    Still, I wish I had enough work gloves to keep some in the car!

    Fern

  • May 26, 2008 at 8:29 pm
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    Some thrift shops have really nice “work gloves”. They were actually pricey at one time and often look to be used once or so–the type of gloves one would wear to a dressy event. They are almost snug fitting which makes them easier to use in garden, as you can actually feel with your fingers.
    Conventional work gloves are always so huge with giant floppy fingers and most women have hands that feel lost in these glove.
    I try to buy every pair of dress gloves I see at thrift shops and those long ones are nice too as they can reach nearly to your elbows in case you’ve got a sun overdose.

    Now, when thrift shops are a thing of the past and gloves are all torn and useless, wonder what some of us will do? I’ve tried to make gloves many times and the end result is always totally pathetic.

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