Best-selling and award-winning author Charles Mann paints insightful portraits of two pioneering twentieth-century scientists: agronomist and plant pathologist Norman Borlaug and ecologist and ornithologist William Vogt. Their conflicting perspectives shaped early ideas about the environment and laid the groundwork for how people in this century will choose to live in tomorrow’s world.
Mann identifies two deeply divided groups: the Wizards and the Prophets. The Prophets align with Vogt, who warned against exploiting the planet’s resources and urged people to cut back or face ruin. The Wizards align with Borlaug, an innovator who modernized agriculture to produce high-yield crops and ultimately saved millions from starving.
Mann explores these divergent views in assessing humanity’s four great challenges: food, water, energy, and climate change.
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World
State of the Species
Air: Climate Change
The Edge of the Petri Dish
Appendix A: Why Believe? (Part One)
Appendix B: Why Believe? (Part Two)
"I was mesmerized by this book, and highly recommend it to all my family, friends, and colleagues. Charles C. Mann has written a brilliant, compelling, must-read book on two pioneering scientists of the 20th century. Mann writes about Borlaug and Vogt from their early childhoods to how they became the voices of agriculture and ecology, and how their insightful views can be used to help better manage land, water and other important world resources going forward in the 21st century."
Lawrence E. Datnoff, Professor & Department Head
Publish Date: 2019
Format: 5.25” × 8” softcover
Publication Weight: 3 lbs
by Charles MannThe Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World