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  • Cited by 11
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2016
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Book description

Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834) was a pioneer in demography, economics and social science more generally whose ideas prompted a new 'Malthusian' way of thinking about population and the poor. On the occasion of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his birth, New Perspectives on Malthus offers an up-to-date collection of interdisciplinary essays from leading Malthus experts who reassess his work. Part one looks at Malthus's achievements in historical context, addressing not only perennial questions such as his attitude to the Poor Laws, but also new topics including his response to environmental themes and his use of information about the New World. Part two then looks at the complex reception of his ideas by writers, scientists, politicians and philanthropists from the period of his own lifetime to the present day, from Charles Darwin and H. G. Wells to David Attenborough, Al Gore and Amartya Sen.


'The volume effectively documents the enduring significance of Malthus’s principle of population.'

Dennis Hodgson Source: Population and Development Review

'The volume of essays that comprise New Perspectives on Malthus, edited by one of the world's foremost scholars of Malthus's life and work, collectively portray the vibrant and volatile debates out of which Malthus's thinking emerged and that only intensified in its wake, continuing through the nineteenth century and on into the twenty-first. More than a volume dedicated solely to the work of a particular political economist, this collection speaks to anyone interested in the history of environmentalism, capitalism, and international population debates.'

Molly Farrell Source: Journal of Historical Geography

'With its many voices and many views New Perspectives on Malthus presents a clear, often brilliant light on an extensive range of Malthusian/anti-Malthusian interpretations and implications … [T]his remarkable collection of essays, each tracking distinct yet related lines of inquiry from two hundred years ago to the present, serves as a reminder that the past is never past, that ideas seldom do have boundaries.'

Source: The Wordsworth Circle

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