Customer Reviews for

40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World

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  • Posted October 23, 2013

    I saw the Buffett family on the Today show yesterday and i thoug

    I saw the Buffett family on the Today show yesterday and i thought to myself, "this is a family that seems just like any other."  I felt like they were the kind of folks you could chat with at a church dinner or backyard barbecue -- and never know that they're billionaires!   I rarely act on impulse to get a book, but I had the day off so I went to the bookstore and bought a copy.  Well, I couldn't put it down.

    The Buffets, especially Howard, have the same values as so many families across America, but they're amazing, incredible people.  They have been all around the world to places I have never even heard of, along with some that I had, and the book is a collection of forty different essays about the people they've met and what they've learned along the way.  I was afraid that I would be overwhelmed by the book's focus on agriculture, which I don't know anything about, and it being about the rest of the world outside of the United States, but it is written in such a nice way with every chapter being its own story, I couldn't stop reading.  I stayed up until late into the night to finish it.   I felt like I had a different mindset when I woke up this morning.  I felt so inspired and ready to make a difference (okay, after an extra cup or two of coffee this morning, like I said, I hadn't slept much!!)  I'm seeing things just a little differently today, thanks to the advice and stories in the book, which I keep thinking about over and over in my mind all morning.

    If I could give this book higher than a five star rating, I would do it.  The book is as exceptional as it's authors, with lessons from one of America's greatest families, with lessons for every family in America.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    40 Chances is a powerful recollection of ideas that truly inspir

    40 Chances is a powerful recollection of ideas that truly inspires one to think about how to be more effective in not just their philanthropy, but their lives.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like a real understanding of the challenges of hunger as well as to enjoy a personable and personal collection of anecdotes that showcase the values and principals that made the Buffett family successful in business and philanthropy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    I happened to see the three generations of the Buffett family on

    I happened to see the three generations of the Buffett family on the Today show and ordered this book immediately. Howard G. Buffett lives in Central Illinois and I had heard about his philanthropic work in the local papers. This book was AWESOME and I will be sharing it with my family. Forty different stories in the 40 chapters, along with pictures he has taken, really opened my eyes. After reading this book, I'm inspired to work on my own 40 chances to make a difference and you will be too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    It's an inspirational and informative read which I find to be a

    It's an inspirational and informative read which I find to be a nice and refreshing combination. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    I pre-ordered this and am really enjoying this book!!!! I'm on c

    I pre-ordered this and am really enjoying this book!!!! I'm on chapter 22 and it's a real page turner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2013

    *A full executive summary of this book will be available at newb

    *A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, November 19, 2013.

    The main argument: In the developed world, the vast majority of us enjoy a standard of living unmatched in the history of humankind—and going hungry is the last thing on our minds. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that poverty and hunger have been eradicated in the developed world entirely (in the United States, for example, 1 in 6 are considered food insecure—including 16 million children). Still, the greatest problems with poverty and hunger continue to exist in the developing world. Indeed, despite substantial improvements over the past 30 years, poverty remains a significant issue, and nearly a billion of the world’s 7 billion people still face chronic hunger (while about twice that number are malnourished in some way)—and millions starve to death every year.

    It is not that many well intentioned people and organizations have not spent a great deal of time and money trying to solve the world’s poverty and hunger issues. Indeed, over the past half century the amount of resources that have been poured into these problems is staggering. So, just why do the problems of poverty and hunger stubbornly persist?

    Well, at least part of it has to do with the fact that there are several significant obstacles standing in the way—everything from armed conflict, to corrupt governments, to particular cultural practices etc. Howard G. Buffet has been involved in philanthropy for upwards of 30 years, and knows these obstacles all too well. However, Buffet insists that there is yet another reason why all of the well-intentioned efforts have fallen short of reaching their ultimate goal. And that is that many of the approaches have proven to be inadequate (if not downright counter-productive).

    The fact is that most of the aid flowing to the poorest parts of the world has been (and continues to be) in the form of projects that are meant to help people in the short-term. For example, NGOs commonly enter an area, drop off bags of seed and fertilizer, and then turn around and leave. This approach may help the area for a season or two, but in the end the seed and fertilizer eventually run out, and the community is right back to square one. Thus the approach acts more as a band-aid, than a self-sustaining solution that addresses the root causes of poverty and hunger.

    Thankfully, in Buffet’s 30 years of work as a philanthropist he has learned that there is indeed a better approach, and one that stands a much better chance of rooting out poverty and hunger for good. The more effective approach is much less about aid as development—less about helping people as enabling people to help themselves.

    This is a fantastic book. Don’t let the fact that Buffet is the son of one of the wealthiest men on the planet dissuade you from taking him seriously. The author may have had a head start in life, but he stands on his own two legs, and he has used his privileged position to help him gain perspective (rather than let it make him arrogant and entitled). Anyone interested in the hunger problem (and the best way to approach it) would be well advised to read this book. A full executive summary of the book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com; on Tuesday, November 19. A podcast discussion of the book will be available shortly thereafter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Poverty and health problems can create an amazing reason to feel

    Poverty and health problems can create an amazing reason to feel down, look at negatives and give up. The recession proved daily that life simply bears down too hard for many of us to take another hopeful step forward.

    In the midst of economic and leadership struggles we admire folks like Howard and Warren Buffett who spot solutions and toss talent, promise and resources into leading innovative change.

    We're drawn to those who guide the most vulnerable among us into a finer place. We find such inspiration page-after-page in Howard Buffett's inspiring new book, "40 Chances."

    From the first narrative we hear the clock ticking with the Buffets, who begin to hone hope into state-of-the-art tools and build optimism by reshaping prosperity for those who've all but given up. Those who recognize the human brain's proclivity to progress, will also spot dozens of ways in this classic volume to act simply - and persist successfully - on the other side of loss.

    Regardless of challenges we all face in tough climates of loss and change we find doable inspiration to move forward. With each bare-boned story of struggle we dip into what Buffet shows to be brilliant brainpower for the worst of times.

    Here at the Mita International Brain Center, we've admired the integrity, care and forward thinking genius that exists in the Buffett family. Yet this book shows a unique compassion for those left at the fringes as our fast paced advancements too often tread down on the most vulnerable among us.

    This book's hub connects us globally - far beyond simply "treating others as we'd like to be treated." We're inspired to run with passion. We're called to help save the world from poverty and hunger that kills hope and assassinates any sense of wonder or worth that we can all achieve together.

    Philanthropy in the Buffet clan, shows itself to be playfully alive, well- packed with a humorous punch - and cast well in Buffett's family dream of alleviating world hunger.

    We all relate in some areas of our lives to the book's maxim that when we receive much we are required to give back more. So sign me up for the Buffett's well articulated plan to help end world hunger and poverty over the next century. No question, alongside the Buffet's impressive $3 billion offerings to ramp up food and water security, my own offering seems shockingly small.

    Yet the hope and delight I see in Buffett's new book, "Forty Chances" offers a new glimpse of refreshing opportunities for each of us to participate in this adventure. Imagine the human and divine legacy - as together we help end global hunger!

    Through each chapter of the book I found myself adding brain based underpinnings to showcase Buffet's riveting mix of 40 humorous, heart-breaking and inspired vignettes. Much like recent brain discoveries show value in the anatomy of hope, Buffet shows how life improves when we act from within genuine and lived compassion for all.

    As Buffett points out - we can feel daunted by our inabilities to make a difference.

    Yet Buffett convinces us to focus together on the outcomes many crave! Rather than settle for tired programs, policies and traditions, this life-changing book woos us to operate from where we stand, but with far larger promises in mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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