Synopses & Reviews
Lester R. Brown, whom the Washington Post praised as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers,” built his understanding of food and scarcity issues from the ground up. His father moved from farmhand to owner of a small farm. As a teenager, Brown created a successful tomato business, even while excelling at school. Living in India while working for the USDA, he pieced together the clues that would lead him to sound the alarm on an impending famine. His urgent warning to the U.S. and Indian governments helped save millions of lives. Brown went on to found two major non-profit environmental organizations and advises governments internationally. Brilliant and outspoken, he has brought to the fore such issues as climate change, overpopulation, women’s education, lagging agricultural productivity, and the global economy—emphasizing their interdependence. Using impeccable research, he has and continues to propose pragmatic, employable solutions to stave off pending ecological crises that endanger our planet.
"This is a much-needed testament and historical document from one of the great environmentalists of our time." Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor, Harvard University
"This is the life story of a true American hero... as a scientist and public intellectual dedicated to the cause of sustainability Lester Brown is in a class by himself." David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor, Oberlin College
"At last one of the most inspiring and accomplished of environmental thought leaders tells his very own tale. A must read for anyone who cares about where we have come from and where we need to go for a sustainable future." Thomas E. Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
"Having been a fan of Lester Brown's past work, I was anxious to read his personal memoir--and it didn't disappoint. is fascinating in that it delves deeply into who Lester Brown is, of course as an environmental leader and great thinker, but more importantly, as a human being. Just as he has in the past, Lester continues to inspire us with his brilliant thoughts and ideas, and in his memoir, he isn't afraid to also show us his heart." Ted Turner
"If you've ever thought, 'I'm just one person; what can one person do?' well, meet Lester Brown. Until now, Lester's work has been about the wider world, but here he allows us a look at how one person can achieve so much that is possible and positive. If you'd like directions to the high road where one person can drive change, Lester Brown's story is the road map to the on-ramp." Carl Safina, author of The View from Lazy Point
"[Brown's] personal account is straightforwardly captivating and provides invaluable insight into the mind and heart of a true contemporary environmental hero." Booklist
An inspirational memoir tracing Lester Brown's life from a small-farm childhood to leadership as a global environmental activist.
Later, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Brown emphasized the need for systemic thinking. In 1963 he did the first global food supply and demand projections to the end of the century. While on a brief assignment in India in 1965, he pieced together the clues that led him to sound the alarm on an impending famine there. His urgent warning to the U.S. and Indian governments set in motion the largest food rescue effort in history, helping to save millions of lives. This experience led India to adopt new agricultural practices, which he helped to shape.
Brown went on to advise governments internationally and to found the Worldwatch and Earth Policy institutes, two major nonprofit environmental research organizations. Both brilliant and articulate, through his many books he has brought to the fore the interconnections among such issues as overpopulation, climate change, and water shortages and their effect on food security. His 1995 book, Who Will Feed China?, led to a broad restructuring of China s agricultural policy. Never one to focus only on the problem, Brown always proposes pragmatic, employable solutions to stave off the unfolding ecological crises that endanger our future.
Lester R. Brown, whom the praised as "one of the world's most influential thinkers," built his understanding of global environmental issues from the ground up. Brown spent his childhood working on the family's small farm. His entrepreneurial skills surfaced early. Even while excelling in school, he launched with his younger brother a tomato-growing operation that by 1958 was producing 1.5 million pounds of tomatoes.
About the Author
Lester R. Brown