The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann

Your favorite books and links
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 6240
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann

Post by jennypenny » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:46 pm

Here is the entry for The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World on Goodreads. It's pretty good albeit a little long and ... dense. It's along the lines of Empire of Things and Scale if you liked those. I'm enjoying it.

From the description ... "The Prophets, he [Mann] 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. "

Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann

Post by Smashter » Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:41 am

It's been on my list for a long time. This might be the nudge I need.

Tyler Cowen gave it a rave review. He also did a 'Conversations with Tyler' podcast with Charles C Mann, which I enjoyed.

Posts: 5007
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:52 am

Thanks for recommendation. I am fascinated with this topic, so had to read it immediately. It wasn't what I hoped for (grand unification theory inclusive of step by step math), but it was chock full of very interesting historical details in addition to very good, relatively unbiased, general explanation of this important discussion.

I would note that this book is also very affirmative of "follow your passion", a notion that is sometimes deeply discounted on this forum.

Post Reply