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Download The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis Audiobook, by Ruth DeFries Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth DeFries Narrator: Pam Ward Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9781622315284
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The story of the ratchets, the technologies and innovations, big and small, that propelled our species from hunters and gatherers on the savannahs of Africa to shoppers in the aisles of the supermarket. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Engaging and optimistic.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “DeFries unpicks the historical patterns to parse the uneasy equation of people and food—our most powerful link with nature.”


  • “[The Big Ratchet] survey[s] the technological innovations that transformed humans from nomadic hunter-gatherers threatened with starvation into farmers and then into urban-dwelling specialists whose sustenance is usually produced far away by a relative few…DeFries sums up the cycle in the pithy catchphrase ‘ratchet, hatchet, pivot.’”

    Science News

  • “At its heart, The Big Ratchet is a food book, deserving a place on the shelf alongside work by the likes of Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, and Marion Nestle that criticize our modern system of industrial agriculture.”

    Johns Hopkins Magazine

  • “DeFries places her faith in human creativity as a primary means to our survival, an appealing point of view for the hopeful but concerned reader.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An admirable history of human ingenuity that does not claim it will overcome such looming crises as overpopulation and global warming.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Pam Ward’s delivery is always clear and well paced. She’s at home with the pronunciation of scientific terms and place names from around the world.”


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About the Author

Ruth DeFries is a Denning family professor of sustainable development and chair of the department of ecology, evolution, and environmental biology at Columbia University. She is a recipient of a 2007 MacArthur fellowship, and she lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Pam Ward, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, found her true calling reading books for the blind and physically handicapped for the Library of Congress’ Talking Books program. The fact that she can work with Blackstone Audio from the beauty of the mountains of Southern Oregon is an unexpected bonus.