The Great Starvation Experiment

Posted on June 24, 2006 

The Great Starvation Experiment

What does it feel like to starve? To feel your body cry out for nourishment, to think only of food? How many fitful, hungry nights must pass before dreams of home-cooked meals metastasize into nightmares of cannibalism? Why would anyone volunteer to find out?

In The Great Starvation Experiment, historian Todd Tucker tells the harrowing story of 36 young men who willingly and bravely faced down profound, consuming hunger. As conscientious objectors during World War II, these men were eager to help in the war effort, but restricted from combat by their pacifist beliefs. So instead they volunteered to become guinea pigs in one of the most unusual experiments in medical history—one that required a year of systematic starvation.

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