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Breaking New Ground: A Personal History

Overview

An inspirational memoir tracing Lester Brown?s life from a small-farm childhood to leadership as a global environmental activist.
Lester R. Brown, whom the Washington Post 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 ...

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Breaking New Ground: A Personal History

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Overview

An inspirational memoir tracing Lester Brown’s life from a small-farm childhood to leadership as a global environmental activist.
Lester R. Brown, whom the Washington Post 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.
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.

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  • Breaking New Ground: A Personal History
    Breaking New Ground: A Personal History  

Editorial Reviews

Edward O. Wilson
“This is a much-needed testament and historical document from one of the great environmentalists of our time.”
David W. Orr
“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.”
Thomas E. Lovejoy
“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.”
Ted Turner
“Having been a fan of Lester Brown’s past work, I was anxious to read his personal memoir—and it didn’t disappoint. Breaking New Ground 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.”
Carl Safina
“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.”
Booklist
“[Brown's] personal account is straightforwardly captivating and provides invaluable insight into the mind and heart of a true contemporary environmental hero.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393240061
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/21/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 735,335
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lester R. Brownis the founder of the Earth Policy and Worldwatch Institutes. He has been honored with numerous prizes, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the United Nations Environment Prize, and twenty-five honorary degrees. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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