Relatively popular as foreign aid measures go, food aid is in fact a highly controversial subject. Can it be successful at one and the same time as an instrument for disposal of surpluses, trade promotion, economic development, assuaging hunger, strengthening friends and punishing enemies? After a good, concise history of American, foreign and multilateral food aid, this study concentrates on U.S. foreign policy. Trade is dealt with, but not the disputes about the impact of food aid on domestic production. Clear, balanced assessments of all major points make this a valuable work, even though the author deplores the lack of decisive evidence on some basic matters.