1st Edition

The Top 50 Sustainability Books

By Wayne Visser Copyright 2009

    This unique title draws together in one volume some of the best thinking to date on the pressing social and environmental challenges we face as a society. These are the Top 50 Sustainability Books as voted for by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership's alumni network of over 3,000 senior leaders from around the world. In addition to profiles of all 50 titles, many of the authors share their most recent reflections on the state of the world and the ongoing attempts by business, government and civil society to create a more sustainable future.  Many of these authors have become household names in the environmental, social and economic justice movements – from Rachel Carson, Ralph Nader and E.F. Schumacher to Vandana Shiva, Muhammad Yunus and Al Gore. Others, such as Aldo Leopold, Thomas Berry and Manfred Max-Neef, are relatively undiscovered gems, whose work should be much more widely known.  By featuring these and other seminal thinkers, The Top 50 Sustainability Books distils a remarkable collective intelligence – one that provides devastating evidence of the problems we face as a global society, yet also inspiring examples of innovative solutions; it explores our deepest fears and our highest hopes for the future. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to tap into the wisdom of our age.

    IntroductionPolly Courtice, Director, Cambridge for Sustainability Leadership 1. A Sand County Almanac Aldo Leopold (1949) 2. Silent Spring Rachel Carson (1962) 3. Unsafe At Any Speed Ralph Nader (1965) 4. The Population Bomb Paul L. Ehrlich (1968) 5. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth R. Buckminster Fuller (1969) 6. The Limits to Growth Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William W. Behrens III (1972) 7. Small Is Beautiful E.F. Schumacher (1973) 8. Gaia James Lovelock (1979) 9. The Turning Point Fritjof Capra (1982) 10. Our Common Future ('The Brundtland Report') World Commission onEnvironment and Development (1987) 11. The Dream of the Earth Thomas Berry (1988) 12. A Fate Worse Than Debt Susan George (1988) 13. Staying Alive Vandana Shiva (1989) 14. Blueprint for a Green Economy David Pearce, Anil Markandya and Edward B. Barbier (1989) 15. For the Common Good Herman Daly and John B. Cobb Jr (1989) 16. Human Scale Development Manfred Max-Neef (1989) 17. Changing Course Stephan Schmidheiny and Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) (1992) 18. The Ecology of Commerce Paul Hawken (1993) 19. Maverick Ricardo Semler (1993) 20. When Corporations Rule the World David C. Korten (1995 )21. Biomimicry Janine M. Benyus (1997) 22. Cannibals with Forks John Elkington (1997) 23. The Hungry Spirit Charles Handy (1997) 24. Banker to the Poor Muhammad Yunus (1998) 25. The Crisis of Global Capitalism George Soros (1998) 26. Factor Four Ernst von Weizsaecker, Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins (1998) 27. False Dawn John Gray (1998) 28. Development as Freedom Amartya Sen (1999) 29. No Logo Naomi Klein (1999) 30. Natural Capitalism Paul Hawken, Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins (1999) 31. Business as Unusual Anita Roddick (2000) 32. The Mystery of Capital Hernando de Soto (2000) 33. The Civil Corporation Simon Zadek (2001) 34. Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser (2001) 35. The Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg (2001) 36. Cradle to Cradle William McDonough and Michael Braungart (2002) 37. Globalization and its Discontents Joseph E. Stiglitz (2002) 38. The Corporation Joel Bakan (2004) 39. Presence Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers (2004) 40. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid C.K. Prahalad (2004) 41. The River Runs Black Elizabeth C. Economy (2004) 42. Capitalism as if the World Matters Jonathon Porritt (2005) 43. Capitalism at the Crossroads Stuart L. Hart (2005) 44. Collapse Jared Diamond (2005) 45. The End of Poverty Jeffrey D. Sachs (2005) 46. The Chaos Point Ervin Laszlo (2006) 47. Heat George Monbiot (2006) 48. An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore (2006) 49. When the Rivers Run Dry Fred Pearce (2006) 50. The Economics of Climate Change Nicholas Stern (2007)ConclusionMike Peirce, Deputy Director, Cambridge for Sustainability Leadership


    Visser, Wayne