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40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World Paperback – October 21, 2014
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From Publishers Weekly
A son of legendary investor Warren Buffett (who provides the foreword), Howard G. Buffett considers himself a farmer first and foremost. He explains that all farmers get 40 growing seasons in their lifetime, giving them just 40 chances to improve. In 40 chapters—constructed as elegant essays—Buffett describes his quest to make a difference in the world, which began well before his father established philanthropic foundations for his three children. The younger Buffett has focused his foundation on wildlife conservation and world hunger. Here, he recounts his personal and professional experiences in surprisingly candid and colorful fashion. An accomplished photographer, Buffett humanizes his stories with his own pictures: from a young boy in ankle chains whom he encountered in Senegal, to a shy village girl in Sierra Madre, to a subsistence farmer digging zai pits in Mozambique. Buffett invites his son Howard W. Buffett, also a philanthropist, to contribute a few chapters, but unfortunately these miss the mark. Despite this shortcoming, the book successfully blends personal stories with a tough look at the struggle to fight domestic food scarcity and world hunger. Those interested in these issues or global philanthropy are sure to find this a satisfying read. B&w photos throughout. Agent: Jillian Manus, Manus & Associates Literary Agency. (Oct.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The “forty chances” in the title of this inspiring manifesto on ending world hunger refers to the average number of growing seasons in a farmer’s career and, by way of analogy, the amount of opportunities we have to realize our dreams. Howard G. Buffett, a famed philanthropist and farmer himself, takes this notion as a springboard to describe his vision and recount his efforts so far to address poverty and starvation both at home and in the Third World. Fittingly, the author presents 40 stories about his mission, beginning with his own upbringing under the watchful eye of his father, legendary billionaire Warren Buffett, who taught his children to respect the dollar and those in need. During visits to Africa as a teen, Howard saw this deprivation up close and has since returned there to teach farming methods, although he is as honest here about his failures as his successes. With contributions from his own son, Howard W., Buffett’s work is both an informative guidebook and a catalyst for igniting real changes in the world. --Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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.
His book are his own, first-hand experiences - both as a farmer/philanthropist...learning about local farming practices around the world!
In "Forty Chances", a few chapters are success stories! Buffett writes with compassion, sometimes sharing warm or humorous accounts of individuals or groups....but always with throughout purpose,
Buffett raises serious concerns/even alarms... about the destructive agriculture practices around the world. He focuses on our world's history(s) of food production, about issues - including differences in soils & weather between the northern/southern hemispheres.
His writing is terse, without polemics!...
Buffett is deeply concerned about food in-security(s) and how geography (weather/soil conditions) makes a huge difference in what will/will not secure the supply of affordable food.He makes the case for HOW & WHY we must improve worldwide food security/sustainability....
Buffett makes his articulate case(s) for facing our immediate and longterm worldwide food needs - and how to re-think production practices & distribution.
Buffett is knowledgable, articulate, with personal, firsthand farming knowledge. He admits he loves big farming machines - but NOT ever 'at the expense' of both large & small farming operations and the all-important issues of climate and soils... nor the need for sustainable (long-term) production successes.He describe work of well-meaning governments, and some nonprofit agency's and their failures to understand the impact of local weather, crop failures, economic conditions, market access/transportation, local political and /or military conflicts.
Buffett advocates that international agencies, individual national govts, and nonprofits must all understand the real, local conditions (weather/water/soil/financial/politics/transportation) ...that always affect food production and distribution.
And... that local farmers (big & small) need encouragement/education on how to use sustainable farming practices, for their own hoped-for long-term economic sustainability.
It is clear that dad Warren is proud of his son Howard and it seems that family altruism is alive in the Buffett family.
Very inspiring book and amazing the chances Howard has taken to visit some areas of the world others wouldn't.
I admire the way Howard found his passion over time and his dad let him develop that passion to the point where
It might have an impact on the world.
It just shows if you let your children's values develope then one day those values might help someone else.
The book is worth a read if you care about humanity,climate change and farming I enjoyed reading it.
I also admire the decent sense of kindness that Howard displays.
Instead of being a rich brat he is doing some good where it impacts by helping feed people and develpe sustainability.
Most recent customer reviews
JUST SAY NO TO SOCIALISM
He then bought another and gave it to a friend. She loved it, as well.