• The Wizard and the Prophet

  • Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World
  • By: Charles C. Mann
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 18 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-09-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (89 ratings)

Regular price: $38.50

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493 - an incisive portrait of the two little-known 20th-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 21st century will choose to live in tomorrow's world.
In 40 years, Earth's population will reach 10 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.
©2018 Charles C. Mann (P)2018 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"A fascinating story of two forgotten men whose ideas changed our understanding of humanity's place in nature. The Wizard and the Prophet is an intellectual history of the clash between techno-optimists and environmentalists, but it's also the very personal story of two thinkers, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt. Mann offers a sympathetic, nuanced way to understand one of the fundamental debates of our time: How will 10 billion humans live sustainably on Earth, when our demands for energy and food are growing? This book showcases an important new kind of futurism, which looks to the past to understand how we'll survive. Never preachy nor dogmatic, Mann asks his readers to do the most difficult thing possible: choose a path to a better world, by consulting your own conscience." (Annalee Newitz, editor, Ars Technica )
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By C. A. McClaugherty on 02-04-18

balanced and deep

much more than a biography, this volume presents some of the major issues of our times with thought provoking stories.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By BKATX on 01-26-18

Fantastic

Charles C. Mann delivers again, he is one of the best science writers going. Bronson Pinchot is fantastic as well (as always).

If you have an interest in ecology, agronomy, energy, poverty, overpopulation, climatology and global warming you will find this book interesting.

The author does a good job of not picking sides and highlights both the pros and cons of each argument.

Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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