By Dave Smith
A son of the conservative South and president of his college’s Young Christian Club, Dave Smith was radicalized by Vietnam. The young Porsche-driving computer programmer went to work with Cesar Chavez during the formative years of the United Farm Workers. From there, Smith became instrumental in founding a series of businesses – including the seminal gardening and lifestyle company Smith and Hawken – that planted the seeds for the now-burgeoning organic and sustainable business movements.
In this fascinating memoir of his transformation, Smith shows how business can be a force for radical change, that business driven by simple core values – not the hijacked values of right-wing extremism but common values of compassion and decency – can truly make the world a better place. To Be of Use is both an entertaining, stirring read and a thoughtful guide to making our work lives personally meaningful again. 259 pages. Hardcover. October 2005.