Assar Lindbeck sa en gång att det fanns två sätt att förstöra en stad: man kunde bomba den, eller så kunde man införa en hyresreglering. Tyvärr verkar det som om det också finns två metoder att mörda en befolkning.
Reading Hayek, Mr Yang said, deepened his understanding of what really went wrong since the disastrous policies instituted by Mao under the Great Leap Forward. Mr Yang’s book on the subject, “Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962”, is a remarkably detailed, meticulously reported account of how an economic experiment led to the death of at least 36m. Along with wrenching accounts of the savagery that emerged from a horrendous misallocation of resources, Mr Yang reveals records from the National Bureau of Meteorology that refute any contention that, as the government had it, weather played a role in the shortages.