In 1969, experts said the cause of hunger was world overpopulation. Frances Moore Lappé showed they were wrong. When Frances Moore Lappé first published Diet for a Small Planet in 1971, she began a revolution that connects our personal food choices to the rest of the world. In this adapted excerpt from the book’s 50th updated anniversary edition, she reveals how it all began. Having made a D on my first college English paper, never did I imagine becoming a writer. No, never. But somewhere along the way I felt I had no choice. Twenty books later, here’s how it happened. As a child of the 1960s, I graduated from college not long after Kennedy’s assassination, and Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, and during intense conflict over the Vietnam War. At the same time, Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights legislation, as well as his Great Society and war on poverty , triggered new hope and big dreams for many. I was one of those many. In my first job I became a “covert agent” in Johnson’s war. Hired officially by the city of Philadelphia as a housing inspector, my real job assigned by radicals in the housing authority was […]


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