Recommended Books

In Their Own Hands

How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development

Jeffrey Ashe with Kyla Jagger Neilan, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, 2014

The more than two and a half billion people who live on less than $2 a day need a better way to save and borrow. Members save what they can in a communal pot and loan their growing fund to each other for their short-term needs. Jeffrey Ashe and Kyla Jagger Neilan illustrate how these savings groups form and function and how little “outside” support is actually required for their success. Savings groups are a “catalytic innovation” that bypasses subsidies, dependency, and high costs while effectively increasing food security, building assets, and empowering the community. Today, saving groups have 10 million members around the globe – with minimal support, membership could grow to ten times this number. Check out the recent piece in the New York Times on savings groups and Jeffrey Ashe.

A Path Appears

Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Alfred A. Knopf, a Division of Random House LLC, New York, 2014

"Nobody clarifies the social challenges of our time, or the moral imperative to help meet them, better then Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  A Path Appears offers an inspiring roundup of the many simple and effective ways in which we can lend out hearts and talents to grow hope and opportunity both at home and around the globe."

A Path Appears is...nothing less than a sweeping tapestry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same -- whether with a donation of $5 or $5 million, with our time, by capitlizing on our skills as individuals, or by usig the resources of our businesses.  (It) offers  practical, results-driven advice and reveals the lasting benefits we gain in return.

Teach a Woman to Fish

Overcoming Poverty Around the Globe

Ritu Sharma, Palgrave Macmillan, a division of St. Martin's Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010  2014

An old axiom tells us: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  Today research and experience tells us:  “Teach a Woman to Fish and everyone eats for a lifetime!”  Author Ritu Sharma, founding President of Women Thrive Worldwide, shares how women are becoming self-sufficient and breaking the cycle of poverty for themselves, their families and their communities.  She writes about the lives of individual women but also highlights the broader systems that prevent women from leaving poverty behind.  From lack of property rights and government corruption to lack of basic infrastructure, these women are restricted by the external limitations placed upon them.  Sharma draws upon her travels to frame a larger exploration of how Americans can be instrumental in helping women break free of restrictive systems and facilitating women’s upward mobility. 

Read recommendations by President Jimmy Carter, Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Raymond Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America

I am Malala

The Girl who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban

Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb, Little, Brown and Company, New York, Boston, London  2013

Malala came to public attention at the age of eleven by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban and her fight for girls' education in her community.  Aside from the story of her courage and her remarkable progression from school to being shot, to recovery and nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, this book paints a vivid picture of the plight of women and girls in the Swat Valley of Pakistan under the Taliban. 

Grandmother Power

A Global Phenomenon

Paola Gianturco, Powerhouse Books, Brooklyn, NY  2012

An unheralded grandmothers' movement is changing the world. Insurgent grandmothers are using their power to fight for a better future for grandchildren everywhere. And they are succeeding.  Grandmother Power profiles activist grandmothers in fifteen countries on five continents who tell their compelling stories in their own words.  For instance, grandmothers in Canada, Swaziland and South Africa collaborate to care for AIDS orphans.  Grandmothers in Senegal convince communities to abandon female genital mutilation -- and so forth.  Stunning photographs illustrate these moving stories.   See and

Half the Sky

Turning Oppression in to Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn (Winners of the Pulitzer Prize)
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2012

"Half the Sky is a passionate and persuasive plea to all of us to rise up and say 'No more' to the seventeenth-century abuses to girls and women in the twenty-first century world.  This is a book that will pierce your heart and arouse your conscience."  Tom Brokaw

"Half the Sky" gives hope and solutions to those of us who care about women in the developing world and their power to change their own lives and those of their families and communities.  Read this book and you will find many ways to help these women help themselves."  Global Horizons for Women 


How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World
Beverly Schwartz, Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, 2012

":Anyone who feels overwhelmed by the thought of making a difference in the world will be reassured by these changemakers, who teach us how small steps can lead to enormous global progress....It is an ins[piring read guaranteed to fill you with hope."  Susan Grant, Executive Vice President of CNN

"Rippling presents some of today's most innovative and effective approaches to solving social and environmental challenges, and clearly demnonstrated that when empathy, creativity, passion and persistence are comb ined, significant, life-altering progress is indeed possible."  Review of Rippling

The Big Shift

Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife

Marc Freedman, Public Affairs, New York 2011

"The animating ideas often sparkle in their relevance.  The result is an imaginative work with the potential to affect our individual lives and our collective future."  New York Times

"If you are hitting the sweet spot between middle age and retirement, you need to read this book.  Freedman is a master at defining what could be done to make your life meaningful while living the best time of your life."  Reuters

Freedman is a natural storyteller, a deep researcher and a forward thinker....Freedman's passion for this emerging stage of aging is palpable."  USA Today

New Pathways Out of Poverty

Sam Daley-Harris and Anna Awimbo, Editors, Kumarian Press 2011

New Pathways Out of Poverty explores the current state of the microfinance industry and highlights some of the field's major challenges and achievements.  The authors examine innovations in microfinance and capture the knowledge gained in key areas of practice.  The authors also show how leading sintitutions are taking steps to ensure that microfinance becomes a central platform of eliminating poverty.

Freedom from Want

The Remarkable Success Story of BRAC, The Global Grassroots Organization that is Winning the Fight Against Poverty
Ian Smillie, Kumarian Press, 2009

"Ian Smillie insightfully chronicles the work of BRAC and its founder, Fazle Hasan Abed, whom I was proud to present with a Clinton Global Initiative Citizen Award.  Dr. Abed's story proves just how much people with vision and commitment can change ther world."  Former President Bill Clinton

"The billion dollars in micro loans that BRAC extends each year to poor people is just the beginning of the story of this remarkable organization.  Smillie writes about how determination, ingenuity and enterprises can end world poverty."  George Soros, financier and philanthropist

Mountains Beyond Mountains

The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
Tracy Kidder, Random House readers Circle, 2009

At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life’s calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer—brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti—blasts through convention to get results.

The Bottom Billion  

Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done about It

Paul Collier, Oxford University Press, 2007

"Paul Collier has given us one of the most engaging and provocative books on development to appear in a long time.  His analyses and proposals-- delivered, by the way, in prose unsusally good for an....economist-- are sound and should be embraced by people who care and can do something about the poorest people in the world."  Enesto Zedillo, Director, Yale Center for the Study of Globallization and former President of Mexico

The End of Poverty 

Economic Possibilities for Our Time
Jeffrey D. Sachs, The Penguin Press, New York, 2005

"Professor Sachs has provided a compelling bluep[rint for eliminating expreme poverty from the world by 2025.  Sachs's analysis and proposals are suffused with all the practical experience of his twenty years in the field--working in dozens of countries across the globe to foster eceoonomic development and well-being."  George Soros, financier and philanthropist

How to Change the World

Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
David Bornstein, Oxford University Press, 2004

"Human Progress has always been led by visionaries who seek a better future and dedicate their lives to realizing that promise.  These social entrepreneurs tackle some of the world's toughest challenges with grit and determination.  Bornstein has given us the rarest of gifts:  a book about hope, about courage and about the power of these extraordinary men and women who change the world."  Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman. Skoll Foundation, first President of E-Bay

The Miracles of Barefoot Capitalism

For Millions of the World's Ambitions Poor One Small Loan Opens the Door to New Lives

Jim Klobuchar and Susan Cornell Wilkes, Kirk House Publishers, 2003

"As the authors note, if a social evangelist had a choice of picking one tool, one movement with the goal of emancipating the poorest women on earth, the microcredit phenomenon wins without serious competition."  Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former CEO, Carlson Companies

Pathways out of Poverty 

Innovations in Microfinance for the Poorest Families
Edited by Sam Daley-Harris, then CEO of MicroCredit Summit Campaign, Kumarian Press, Inc., 2002

"Pathways out of Poverty" brings together important perspectives from the field that practitioners and policy makers will find useful, not only to build on successes but also to overcome that challenges facing us in the years ahead.  if we are serious about the millenium Development Goal of reducing poverty by half by 2015, we'll have no other option but to establish credit as a human right.  THis book will help guide you to do it."  Muhammad Yunus, founder Grameen Bank and "father" of microcredit