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40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World Kindle Edition
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|Length: 465 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Simon & Schuster, 2013, 433 pages
I was very skeptical about learning anything from this book. Howard G. Buffett’s father is a Billionaire, what could he tell me, I grew up in the real world. I was wrong, I learned a great deal from this book. The title is the key, Forty Chances. Howard is a farmer and the premise of the book is “a farmer can expect 40 chances or growing seasons to get it right.” The object of farming is to feed people not to just get a crop to market. Howard begins with farming and quickly links feeding people to places where people are starving. Starvation is linked solidly to farming failure in those locations often due to conflict. You can’t farm when a war is going on. There are other obstacles to successful farming around the world. In 40 stories (actually 41 stories) Howard details why some places in the world people cannot feed themselves. The complete title to this book is FORTY CHANCES - Finding Hope in a Hungry World. Finding hope is not preached but discovered as the 40 stories unfold. There are many dimensions to the problem of farming in the world from land ownership, seed available to social norms. I must compliment Howard for using these 40 stories to present the problems. They add creditability to the conditions he describes and to the possible solutions he presents. This is not a Billionaire telling how he thinks others should do things; this is a farmer sharing his concern, failures and successes. Thank you Howard I learned a great deal.
Michael Andrew Marsden – The North Idaho Ghost Writer
This book would be of interest to anyone, not just people interested in agriculture or international development.
The book contains much information that many will find useful and interesting. For example, being raised on a small farm, I found Bufffet's accounts of modern large-scale farming fascinating. I also appreciated his and his son's careful explanations for why U.S. mid-western farming techniques, or even close approximations, cannot be exported. Most compelling, perhaps, were reports of inefficiently dispersed aid. These are, however, coupled with careful accounts of, for example, logistical and political difficulties faced in overcoming inefficiencies, incompetence and worse.
Thus, 40 Chances is not an easy read. Because it offers much to digest, I could not credit a claim that anyone did so without ample breaks. Difficulty is exacerbated because key information often seems randomly presented. The book would be more easily read and useful were it better organized.
Most recent customer reviews
JUST SAY NO TO SOCIALISM
He then bought another and gave it to a friend. She loved it, as well.