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Global Population – History, Geopolitics, and Life on Earth - Columbia Scholarship Online
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Global Population: History, Geopolitics, and Life on Earth

Alison Bashford


Concern about the size of the world's population did not begin with the “population bomb” in 1968. It arose in the aftermath of World War I and was understood as an issue with far-reaching ecological, agricultural, economic, and geopolitical consequences. The world population problem concerned the fertility of soil as much as the fertility of women, always involving both “earth” and “life.” This book traces the idea of a world population problem as it evolved from the 1920s through the 1960s. The growth and distribution of the human population over the planet's surface came deeply to shape the ... More

Keywords: population, population bomb, World War I, fertility of women, earth, world population problem, migration, colonial expansion, globalization, world food plans

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780231147668
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231147668.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alison Bashford, author
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry

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Part I The Long Nineteenth Century

Part II The Politics of Earth, 1920s and 1930s

Part III The Politics of Life, 1920s and 1930s

Part IV Between One World and Three Worlds, 1940s to 1968