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Borlaug; Volume 2, Wheat Whisperer 1944-1959
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2009
Noel Vietmeyer does it again! He writes about the evolution of wheat and the man who made it happen at a revolutionary pace with great success at overcoming a devastating stem rust disease. If that sounds like a seemingly unappealing subject for a book, the future readers of it are in for a real surprise. It is masterfully written and goes beyond a typical biography. To be sure Dr.Vietmeyer has an intriguing biographical subject. Borlaug is a hero that every American and indeed all who appreciate many of the foods we have today should get to know. We can and should be very thankful for Borlaug's capability to learn, his vast knowledge and its application as well as his perseverance, dedication, self-sacrifice and incredibly supporting family. The stories told surrounding these years in his life are extraordinarily interesting and revealing about Borlaug's character and the fortutious help he received along the way. Dr. Vietmeyer weaves the stories into the history that is key to techniques for growing and disease prevention for crops to this date. Young people can learn volumes from this book from an eduational viewpoint. Policy makers can as well. The story depicts real science in action outside the pristine labs we often associate with scientific advancements. It is eye-opening to say the least. We learn about the risks Borlaug took and the trials and tribulations he faced. Then we see how concerned he was for the need to feed the hungry people of the world. We learn how magnanimous he was in sharing his techniques and seeds -- he offered them for free! I look forward to Volume 3 of this series. Clearly I have gained even greater respect for Norman Borlaug and am sad that he recently passed away. Noel Vietmeyer is providing a great service for us to get to know this man of our history as we all should. "Wheat whisperer" and "maverick" are indeed apt descriptions of Borlaug. Thanks for a truly inviting and excellent biography Dr. Vietmeyer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2010
This is the second book I have read by Noel Vietmoyer on Norman Borlaug and akin to the first I was enthralled. The book essentially looks at Norm's underfunded and relatively unknown campaign to boost food production in Mexico, giving the reader good bits of history, agronomy, human spirit, and optimism in between. I first learned about Norman Borlaug when I saw a link of his name when looking at Luther Burbank, and he immediately caught my attention. That was on December 2009, a few months after he died. Within a week of a quick read about him, I bought the first book, and finished it in a week. The second was bought thereafter and continued the great story of his life. I shouldn't go on about the book, that's for you. However, considering this man's work fed around a billion people and who's life was likely the most inspirational story I've seen, I have much to say about him. Overall, 5 stars, great book, good writing, phenomenal man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2010
How have I lived so long and never heard of Borlaug until now? Or of how my grandparents lived as subsistence farmers? Or how Hoover saved millions of lives? Or what it takes to feed us? Or how near we always are to the next great famine?
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on May 10, 2015
all good
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