The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World Review

From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493--an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world.

In forty years, Earth's population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups--Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug's cry. Only in that way can everyone win! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces--food, water, energy, climate change--grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author's insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth.

Title:The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • David

    Charles Mann has written some wonderful books. I read two of them, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, and they are both excellen...

  • Hadrian

    Dual biography which compares and contrasts two main currents of thought in the environmentalist movement. "The Wizard" is the Iowan scientist Norman Borlaug, who believed that scientific advancement ...

  • Peter Tillman

    A pretty good, if overlong, book about technical progress (Wizards) vs. environmental activism (Prophets). More or less. Mann does a good job of remaining even-handed in this long-running debate, whic...

  • Dave

    I really didn't think I'd ever waste my time reading another new book by Charles Mann. After he came out with his article claiming that fossil fuel supplies are infinite, I lost all respect for him. I...

  • Atila Iamarino

    Uma obra fantástica e recomendadíssima em tempos recentes. Charles Mann escreveu livros que gostei muito (1491 e 1493). E neste livro compara duas formas de encarar o mundo e o futuro da humanidade:...

  • Philipp

    [Borlaug] asked me if I had ever been to a place where most of the people weren't getting enough to eat. "Not just poor, but actually hungry all the time," he said. I told him that I hadn't been to s...

  • Charles

    This book addresses what is, as far as the material comforts of the modern age, the central question of our time—can mankind have it all? The author, Charles Mann, does not answer that question, tho...

  • Koen Kop

    A must-read for anyone who cares about this planet and the pursuit of happiness of all its inhabitants. Best book I've read in ages....

  • Stephanie

    Food for thought book. Well researched and referenced. Enjoyable but intense read.Charles Mann claims this is about two remarkable scientists, William Vogt and Norman Borlaug, but I would claim that h...

  • Nancy Mills

    This is a must-read, in my opinion, for anyone interested in environmental issues, the future of mankind and our effect on the planet. It's an admirably balanced account of two schools of thought, rep...