Author Speaker Spotlight: Roger Thurow & The First 1,000 Days


Get to know the second author of BookPal’s Author Speaker Spotlight series, a series that highlights speakers who have written about and spoken on powerful, life-changing stories.

Meet Roger Thurow: Humanitarian, Journalist, and Storyteller

A storyteller by trade as much as a storyteller at heart, Roger has spent a great deal of his career chronicling and sharing the stories of others. For 30 years, he reported for the Wall Street Journal and now, he is a senior fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs — an independent and non-partisan organization that provides insight and influences public discourse on critical global issues.

(Follow his blog for The Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Outrage and Inspire.)

Roger has penned a total of three books on hunger, poverty, and the world economy. His first, Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, received Harry Chapin’s WhyHunger book award and was a finalist for other notable awards including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the New York Public Libary Helen Bernstein Book Award. Roger is also the 2009 recipient of the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award.

His more recent books continue the international discussion on hunger. In The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change, Roger shares the real-life story of a farming community in Africa. The book illuminates the profound challenges the community faces and how they strive to transcend their lives of dire poverty and hunger. The challenge they face is as global as it is personal: the community must figure out how to feed a growing population because the world food production must nearly double by 2050.

His most recent work, The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children — and the World, looks at global hunger from a different angle: focusing on the importance of providing proper nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. Roger suggests that proper nutrition during these days can profoundly influence a child’s ability to grow, learn, and work. Proper nutrition can even determine a society’s long-term prosperity.

(Find out how Bread for the World bought The First 1,000 Days in bulk from BookPal to empower and inspire its team members! Read their story here.)

Roger has given lectures on agriculture, politics, economy, and health — in both a domestic and global context — to nonprofit organizations and associations. His work has been especially well received by higher education institutions. Many colleges and universities across the country use his titles in their public health and social sciences curriculum, often times inviting him to speak at their seminars. His work has moved both college faculty members and students alike:

• “We have used all three of Roger Thurow’s books in classes for our minor in International Agriculture. His books are an excellent way to pique student interest. His books weave a story and a context that inspire the students to dig deeper into the theory and the issues behind the stories. Roger Thurow’s books are an excellent complement to the traditional teaching materials and our classes are richer because of them.”

— Dr. Deanna Behring, assistant dean and director at Pennsylvania State University

• “Using real-life examples to show the effects of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency all over the world, including the US shows that these problems are not isolated, and the world should work together in order to solve these issues.”

— Student from Pennsylvania State University

• “I’ve used The Last Hunger Season and The First 1,000 Days as texts in my interdisciplinary investigations class on Hunger for the past two years. Students love these books. They can easily connect to the content because of the way Thurow weaves story and statistic together to bring this important subject to life.”

— Dr. Alisha Vincent, professor at Dakota Wesleyan University

• “The stories make these situations real in ways that text full of data, maps, and academic citations cannot.”

— Student from Dakota Wesleyan University


Roger is one of BookPal’s recommended author speakers for campus-wide and freshman year experience college programs. Buy his books in bulk for your curriculum, event, or organization with BookPal, a leading bookseller for colleges and universities across the country. With exceptional customer service and years of experience coordinating large orders for organizations, businesses, and institutions across the country, we’re sure we can help you with your bulk book order. But don’t just take our word for it, see our customer reviews here!

Contact us at with your request to learn more about Roger’s speaking rates and programs. We’d be more than happy to help you coordinate your seminar, freshman year experience program, or public event.

This post was written by Elizabeth Lee, the marketing manager at BookPal. She is currently reading QBQ by John G. Miller and The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.

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