Ben M. McKay is an assistant professor of development and sustainability studies at the University of Calgary.
Academics and activists who are interested in the politics of agrarian, food, environmental, and political democratization issues must read McKay's compelling book: an empirically rich and theoretically brilliant book on agrarian extractivism. Ben M. McKay provides an advanced analysis of the ways in which large-scale destructive agriculture operates, using its power to nullify various forms of resistance, while revealing how even those promising projects like Evo Morales' Agrarian Revolution in Bolivia can end up promoting an (agro)extractivist model. This book is vital for anyone interested in deepening their analysis of contemporary agrarian issues and politics. Readers of Galeano's Open Veins in Latin America published half a century ago will be attracted to this book. McKay masterfully discusses the new open veins of agro-extractivism arising from the new corporate-controlled industrialized food system. Its exclusionary effects on peasant and indigenous communities and damaging ecological impacts are carefully explored providing fresh insights into the new pillage facing them. McKay's powerful analysis challenges dominant discourses to reveal the highly extractive nature of the industrial soy complex in Bolivia. With rich empirical detail, he shows how the underlying dynamics of agrarian extractivism generate social exclusion and environmental harm. --Jennifer Clapp, author of Speculative Harvests