Waving his hand toward a patch of willowy, pale green rice stalks, Benigno Aquino showed an American reporter what the Green Revolution meant to the Philippines in the fall of 1966. “Here is the bullock cart. Here is the nineteenth century,” he said. Then, pointing across the road to a paddy of stubby, dark shoots planted in orderly rows, “here is the jumbo jet! The twentieth century.”1 Over the next ten years, Green Revolutionaries took credit for saving the world from a Malthusian catastrophe. India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia declared self-sufficiency in food, and agricultural technology received praise for reversing the economic fortunes of one of the world's poorest regions. But what most impressed Aquino, the New York Times, the scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and the institute's patrons in Washington and New...

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