More from Less

The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next

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About The Book

From the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling The Second Machine Age, a compelling argument—masterfully researched and brilliantly articulated—that despite increasing prosperity for most of Earth’s inhabitants and an explosion of goods overall, consumption of natural resources such as metals, water, and timber has begun to decline.

Bestselling author and co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy Andrew McAfee says there’s a new reason for optimism: we’re past the point of “peak stuff”—from here on out, it’ll take fewer resources to make things, and fewer dollars to lead a comfortable life.

What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism. In More From Less, McAfee explains how capitalism’s quest for higher profits is a quest for lower costs; materials and resources are expensive, and technological progress allows companies to use fewer of them even as they grow their markets. Modern smartphones take the place of cameras, GPS units, landline telephones, answering machines, tape recorders, and alarm clocks. Precision agriculture lets farmers harvest larger crops while using less water and fertilizer. Passenger cars get lighter, which makes them cheaper to produce and more fuel efficient. This means that, even though there’ll be more people in the future, and they’ll be wealthier and consume more, they’ll do so while using fewer natural resources.

However, the future is not all bright, cautions McAfee. He warns of issues that haven’t been solved, like overfishing and global warming. But overall, More From Less is a revelatory, paradigm-shifting account of how we’ve stumbled into an unexpected balance with nature, and the possibility that our most abundant centuries are ahead of us.

About The Author
© Evgenia Eliseeva

Andrew McAfee is a principal research scientist at MIT, studying how digital technologies are changing business, the economy, and society. He has discussed his work at such venues as TED, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and the World Economic Forum. His prior books include the New York Times bestseller The Second Machine Age, which was shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year, and Machine, Platform, Crowd. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Scribner (October 2019)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982103576

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Raves and Reviews

“[An] exhilarating book . . . More from Less is fascinating, enjoyable to read, and tremendously empowering.”
—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

“For many years now, Andrew McAfee has been arguing that the fourth industrial revolution would transform our economies and the quality of our lives. . . . His optimism is a breath of fresh air substantiated by real research and empirical findings. [This book is] well worth reading even if your first impression, like mine, is: it can’t be true!”
—Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

“In More from Less Andrew McAfee conclusively demonstrates how environmentalism requires more technology and capitalism, not less. Our modern technologies actually dematerialize our consumption, giving us higher human welfare with lower material inputs. This is an urgently needed and clear-eyed view of how to have our technological cake and eat it too.”
—Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz

“I've always believed that technological progress and entrepreneurship make our lives better. Here, Andrew McAfee shows how these powerful forces are helping us make our planet better too, instead of degrading it. For anyone who wants to help create a future that is both sustainable and abundant, this book is essential reading.”
Reid Hoffman, cofounder of Linkedin and coauthor of Blitzscaling

“This book is the best kind of surprise. It tells us something about our relationship with our planet that is both unexpected and hopeful. The evidence Andy presents is convincing: we have at last learned how to tread more lightly on the Earth. More from Less shows how we accomplished this, and tells us how to keep it ”
—Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

“In More from Less Andrew McAfee lays out a compelling blueprint showing how we can support human life using fewer natural resources, improve the state of the world, and replenish the planet for centuries to come.”
—Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce

“Riveting . . . By subverting our common perceptions of capitalism and technology as enemies of progress and environmental preservation, McAfee offers all of us a clear-eyed source of optimism and hope. Critically, he also makes the case for what comes next—offering up vital lessons that have the potential to make the world both more prosperous and more just.”
Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation

“Andrew McAfee’s new book addresses an urgent need in our world today: defining a framework for addressing big global challenges. His proposals are based on a thorough analysis of the state of the world, combined with a refreshing can-do attitude.”
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

“Yet another magnificent contribution from Andrew McAfee. Along with his prior works, More from Less will help us navigate society’s future in profound ways.”
—Clayton M. Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

“The shortest path to improving the world is to notice objectively what is already working, and do more of it. As for the things that are still going wrong, figure out the minimalist way to turn them around, and do that. McAfee’s More from Less is packed with practical news and advice that will disconcert ideologues of every stripe.”
—Stewart Brand, editor of the National Book Award-winning The Whole Earth Catalog

“More from Less is a must-read—a timely and refreshing book! Amidst the din of voices insisting that the ravages of climate change are unstoppable, McAffee offers a desperately needed nuanced perspective on what governments and society have got right, and he compellingly argues that commendable progress has already been made. His book is not a call for complacency; rather, it’s a welcome and thoughtful recognition of where we’ve succeeded and a practical path for what more can be achieved in the efficient use of natural resources. A gem of a book!”
—Dambisa Moyo, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Aid, How the West Was Lost, Winner Take All, and Edge of Chaos

“Everyone knows we’re doomed by runaway overpopulation, pollution, or resource depletion, whichever comes first. Not only is this view paralyzing and fatalistic, but, as Andrew McAfee shows in this exhilarating book, it’s wrong….More from Less is fascinating, enjoyable to read, and tremendously empowering.”
—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

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