FRANCES MOORE LAPPé Biography - Writers


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Frances Moore Lappé (born February 10, 1944) is a noted social change and               
democracy activist, and the author of 16 books, including the three-million-copy         
bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet (originally published in 1971).                     
Lappé was born in 1944 in Pendleton, Oregon to John and Ina Moore and grew up in         
Fort Worth, Texas. After graduating from Earlham College in 1966, she married           
toxicologist and environmentalist Dr. Marc Lappé in 1967. They had two children,         
Anthony and Anna Lappé. They divorced in 1977. She briefly attended University           
of California at Berkeley for graduate studies in social work.                           
Throughout her works Lappé has argued that global hunger and poverty are not due         
to lack of food and other goods but to a widespread framework of scarcity or "lack.".   
She has posited that our current "thin democracy" creates a maldistribution of           
power that inevitably creates waste and a scarcity of the essentials sustainable         
Lappé makes the radical argument that what she calls "living democracy," ie.not         
only what we do in the voting booth but through our daily choices of what we buy         
and how we live, provides a mental and behavioral framework of goods and                 
goodness that is aligned with our basic human nature. She believes that only by         
"living democracy can we effectively solve today's social and environmental             
Lappé began her writing career early in life. She first gained prominence in the         
early 1970s with the publication of her book Diet for a Small Planet, which has         
sold several million copies.                                                             
In 1975, with Joseph Collins she launched the California-based Institute for             
Food and Development Policy (Food First) to educate Americans about the causes           
of world hunger. In 1990,                                                               
Lappé co-founded the Center for Living Democracy in 1990, a 10-year initiative           
to accelerate the spread of democratic innovations in which regular citizens             
contribute to problem solving. She served as founding editor of the Center               
American News Service (1995-2000), which placed stories of citizen problem-solving       
in nearly half the nation's largest newspapers. In 2000 she was a visiting               
scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology                                     
In 2002 Lappé and her daughter Anna established the Small Planet Institute based         
in Cambridge, Massachusetts a collaborative network for research and popular             
education to bring democracy to life. With her daughter, she is also co-founder         
of the Small Planet Fund, channeling resources to democratic social movements           
Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life,           
was released in 2006. This book completed a trilogy which began in 2002 with the         
30th anniversary sequel to Diet for a Small Planet, titled Hope's Edge: The Next         
Diet for a Small Planet, co-written with her daughter, Anna Lappé. Then in 2004         
she published with Jeffrey Perkins You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a             
Culture of Fear. Among Lappé's other books are World Hunger: Twelve Myths and           
Rediscovering America's Values.                                                         
In September of 2007, the Institute's publishing arm, Small Planet Media,               
released Lappé's newest book, Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, & Courage in         
a World Gone Mad, which highlights radically new ways of thinking about fear,           
power, democracy, and hope itself.                                                       
Lappé is a founding Counselor of the Hamburg based World Future Council, and on         
the Adviaory Council of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She a a Contributing         
Editor to YES Magazine and on the Board of Directors of the People-Centered             
Development Forum and serves as a member of the International Commission on the         
Future of Food and Agriculture,                                                         
Lappé's articles and opinion pieces have appeared in publications as diverse as         
The New York Times, O Magazine, and Christian Century. Her television and radio         
appearances have included a PBS special with Bill Moyers, the Today Show, CBS           
Radio, and National Public Radio.                                                       
Lappe has received 17 honorary doctorates from distinguished institutions,               
including the University of Michigan, Kenyon College, Allegheny College Lewis           
and Clark College and Grinell College.. In 1987 in Sweden, Lappé became the             
fourth American to receive the Right Livelihood Award sometimes called the               
Alternative Nobel. . In 2003 she received the Rachel Carson Award from the               
National Nutritional Foods Association. She is one of twelve living "women who           
words have changed the world" selected by the Women's National Book Association.         
Historian Howard Zinn writes: “A small number of people in every generation are       
forerunners, in thought, action, spirit, who swerve past the barriers of greed           
and power to hold a torch high for the rest of us. LappĂ© is one of those. The           
Washington Post says: Some of the twentieth century's most vibrant activist             
thinkers have been American women  Margaret Mead, Jeanette Rankin, Barbara Ward,         
Dorothy Day  who took it upon themselves to pump life into basic truths.                 
Frances Moore Lappé is among them."