- Paperback: 443 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 21, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781451687873
- ISBN-13: 978-1451687873
- ASIN: 1451687877
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 399 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16.744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World Paperback – 21 October 2014
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About the Author
Howard G. Buffett is the President of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. A farmer, businessman, politician, photographer, and philanthropist, he has dedicated his life to wildlife conservation and finding solutions to world hunger. He is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Against Hunger, and serves on the corporate boards of Berkshire Hathaway, the Coca-Cola Company, and Lindsay Corporation. His son, Howard W. Buffett, has authored several of the stories in 40 Chances and accompanied his father to developing countries around the world.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
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.