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Let My People Go Surfing cover art

Let My People Go Surfing

By: Yvon Chouinard,Naomi Klein
Narrated by: Christopher Grove,Yvon Chouinard
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Summary

In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard - legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc. - shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport's equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life - a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

With a preface to the second edition, introduction, and epilogue read by the author.

©2016 Yvon Chouinard (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Let My People Go Surfing

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Highly recommended

In a world where many people are naive enough to think that life's goal is the accumulation of wealth at the expense of all else, Yvonne provides a working example of how we will be measured, not by our bank balance but by the lack of impact our actions have on the planet.
A brilliant book form end to end.
Highly recommended.
Read it, then live it.

3 people found this helpful

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An essay on climate change

I struggled to finish this book. I bought it believing it to be about the history of the brand patagonia, but in the main it focuses on the issue of climate change and environmental problems. It became tedious. I wouldn't have chosen a book on that subject and perhaps I didn't research it enough before purchasing, but i cant recommend it as a business related autobiography.

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Patagonia leading to do environmental business

Next time you buy anything, ask yourself "who made it," "where was it made" and does this company care about the environment and the labour staff. This is a great book which provides insight into the how a company made mistakes and what actions it took as soon as it realised that their product was toxic.

2 people found this helpful

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Do you plan to let your people go surfing?

An insipration on knowing what your purpose is when setting up a business and knowing the role the business plays both in society and in relationship to the planet

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Buy the book

Great book. loved the environment section. I would prefer to read the paper book though.

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inspirational

beautifully written book, inspirational and profound. packed with so much information and insight I'll be reading this over and over again.

1 person found this helpful

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The future of business

Thought provoking and insightful in equal measure, this is a rallying cry to business to challenge the convention of hierarchical, command and control consumer driven enterprise and pursue the creation of a new type of commercial organisation motivated by its purpose and it conscience rather than just money.

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Should be mandatory reading for businesses/entrepreneurs

Exceptionally well presented philosophies and methods used throughout Patagonias history. Highly applicable in all industries.

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The story of a sustainable business

if only other corporate leaders would read this book and follow its examples there might be some small hope for human society as we know it to continue for a bit longer. As it is, Yvon Chouinard is intelligent, open minded and rare.

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Fantastic Book

This book really struck chord with me - it should be read by every business owner that wants to genuinely do some good in the world.

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  • Jim Perkins
  • 25-05-17

Good presentation, though a little preachy

I respect Patagonia and the fact that the company stands behind its values. I was hoping for more on the overall management of the company, not so much on this is what is wrong with the planet and let me give you a ton of statistics to back it up.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Colin
  • 03-10-16

From the Heart

I have a lot of respect for Yvonne Chouinard. He lived an amazing life and was mindful the entire way. after listening I yearn to climb mountains, to work in such an amazing company as Patagonia, to start an organic farm, and to practice Civil Disobedience. To think about life and put your thoughts to action.

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  • Mark Lindberg
  • 20-10-16

Half and half not

The first half of this book was insightful, however the second half was too specific to clothing manufacturing or restatements of previous points.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Shukin
  • 16-07-17

Rethink, Reuse, Reniew

In the first five minutes of listening to this book I knew it was going to change the way I think. Actually it took me back to thinking the way I did in the 1980s. Somehow through consumerism I developed a hopelessness for the environment, but this book has restored hope and belief that I can make a difference.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Colby
  • 04-11-16

A great look at how business can be used for good

A great read that I would recommend to any and every business owner, or entrepreneur, that gives a damn about the world they operate in. It is both a good adventure in how Patagonia came to be and a insightful journey about the founder Yvon and his deep rooted values that shape the company. This book will force you to critically examine your business and the impacts that it has on the world as a whole. There are also some very insightful ideas that can be applied to any business that desires to operate in a more "sustainable" manner. Yvon is an inspiring figure whom makes no excuses when critically examining his own company and holding it accountable for any impact that it has, both positive and negative. Patagonia is a role model that all businesses should look to aspire to. Yvon and this book have definitely inspired me personally and I think it will for you as well if you give it a chance.

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  • Em
  • 02-11-16

Must Read

A personal, yet totally relatable (and usable) manifesto on business, adventure, environment, and just being human. This book will help you see more clearly the right path forward in whatever it is you're doing.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Brandon
  • 18-11-20

I hate it. You should still read it. But I hate it.

When I say I hate it, I don’t necessarily mean there isn’t anything good about it. I just, overall, hate it. I’ll break down the good and bad from my perspective.
Good:
You don’t have to conform to society’s standards in whatever it is you do. You don’t have to run your business or live your life the way Forbes or Instagram tell you to. It was cool to hear Yvon’s different means of doing things his own way in different aspects of business and life.

This book is very devout. I can find respect for anyone who chases after something with everything they’ve got until it becomes an obsession rather than a pastime or hobby.

The Bad:
I’ll start with just my critiques on the book purely from a content standpoint. The book’s format is basically to present Patagonia’s major company philosophies, why they’re that way, and why that way is superior. This is just a personal preference, but I enjoy narratives, and this book tends to avoid storytelling and opt for rants that run down various rabbit holes. There is certainly a thread of storytelling that runs throughout the book, but it’s a thin red strand that branches down gaping rabbit holes more often than not. Also that man said he ate cat food mixed with oatmeal. He just said that like it was normal. It is not.

Now to my gripes about the content itself. Goodness this book is self-righteous and preachy! If you’ve ever had an Amazon Prime account, opened a Robinhood account, thought nice things about dams or hydroelectric power, or bought food from anywhere other than the organic section, prepare to be personally blamed for global warming. Random companies and Christians catch stray bullets as well. How does a Christian not believing in evolution to the same extent that Yvon does result in global warming? I’m still not sure, but he did find two opportunities to complain about it.

The mail order catalog. HOW. MANY. TIMES. can this man mention his mail order catalog and how absolutely sweet it is in one book? If you walked away from this book with the impression that Patagonia is in the business of producing catalogs, I don’t think anyone could blame you. He talks about them almost equally as much as his first business.

It’s pretty easy to see that Yvon isn’t very fond of considering things from multiple perspectives. After reading Shoe Dog, I walked away thinking that perhaps I don’t understand everything about factory work in China and that perhaps I should study it further to better my understanding of the dynamics surrounding it. Or at the very least, I should be more critical in studying how factory conditions and wages have improved/declined since a large company began having goods produced there. After reading this book, I had to question if Yvon had ever once considered that he may be wrong about something that he was once passionately opposed to. I’m not saying he hasn’t, but I am saying he doesn’t do that in this book.

One last point, it’s pretty annoying how many times he basically says, “yeah I mean Patagonia also probably maybe sorta does more harm than good for the environment, but :( we :( feel :( sad :( about :( it :( and absolutely no other company on Earth feels sad about their damaging effects to the environment. Probably because they’re publicly traded companies. Also I don’t know the differences between class A and class B stock that would allow me to take my company public without actually letting shareholders tell me how to run my company, but I won’t let that stop me from bashing every single public company that exists. Other than Northface, of whom I will say neutral things.”

I am thankful Audible allows us to return books and exchange them for credits. I would feel very wasteful to have this sitting in my library collecting digital dust.

Also I do still recommend reading it (once). Clearly I think it sucks, but it’ll at least challenge your viewpoints on a few things and make you reflect on what you do, why you do it, and how you could do it in a way that makes other people and the planet’s lives better. Still sucks tho.

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  • Oakdan
  • 18-06-17

Worst I have listened to on Audible

What would have made Let My People Go Surfing better?

A more in depth history of the company. Book felt like a 10 hour advertisement for Patagonia products.

What could Yvon Chouinard and Naomi Klein have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Book was constant information about global warming. If I wanted to read about global warming I would have purchased a book written by a scientist. Not a Clothing manufacturer that sells clothing made in China

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator sounded like she was reading for infomercial

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No. Dont Buy this Book.

Any additional comments?

Wish I could request refund. Hated this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Katie Ryder
  • 13-04-18

Stands out from other memoirs

Where does Let My People Go Surfing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the better audiobooks I've listened to. There was a nice mix of storytelling and advice and wisdom. Not too dry.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Yvon Chouinard (the author and one of the only real characters in the book)

Have you listened to any of Christopher Grove and Yvon Chouinard ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book inspired me to try and be a more environmentally conscious person over all. It made me want to cut down on my consumption and rethink and reevaluate the way I look at clothing and the outdoors.

Any additional comments?

Great read, not just for people who want to learn about business or Yvon Chouinard.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Miller
  • 13-04-18

Good, but no shoe dogs

It's a very good book, and I like Patagonia. However, I would have liked to hear more about how the company got moving. I enjoyed hearing about what we need to do to fix our environment. I just felt like it should have been a different book. One for his management style, and one for his environmental philosophy.

2 people found this helpful