An inspiringly hopeful book.

READ REVIEW

MANIFESTO FOR A MORAL REVOLUTION

PRACTICES TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD

A distinguished social entrepreneur offers insights on how to responsibly transform the interconnecting worlds of technology, business, and politics to elevate “individual and collective dignity."

The early 21st century is an era characterized by increasing economic inequality, crumbling sociopolitical systems, and the looming threat of climate catastrophe. Drawing on her experience working with change-makers and lessons learned from her own humanitarian efforts, Novogratz outlines a set of principles grounded in the idea that a better world can only emerge when individuals seek to serve others rather than themselves. She begins by highlighting the need to cultivate a moral imagination, the ability to “view other people’s problems as if they were your own." This kind of sensitivity helped a young Japanese entrepreneur build meaningful relationships with Colombian cacao farmers who had suffered through decades of political violence and who also wanted to maintain natural balance in the lands they farmed. The process took time, but, in the end, the entrepreneur was able to launch a business that was both socially conscious and sustainable. Listening to “voices unheard”—especially those belonging to the poor—is also critical, as is making a conscious effort to transform oneself into “a bridge…that others might walk across." To help break down the polarities that have come to define our modern age, the author suggests the need to “reach across the wall of either-or and acknowledge the truths that exist in opposing perspectives." The courage to act independently is also necessary for a moral revolution. Novogratz’s story of a privileged female entrepreneur who created a clothing company that trained and employed poor Indian women shows how one person avoided the “conformity trap" while also bearing witness to the value of those shunted to the margins. Wise and optimistic, the author provides a benevolent tonic for those looking to rise above the troubled waters of the age and embrace the “beautiful struggle” of rebuilding our broken world.

An inspiringly hopeful book.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-22287-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers would do well to heed the dark warning that this book conveys.

A WARNING

The nameless resister inside the White House speaks.

“The character of one man has widened the chasms of American political division,” writes Anonymous. Indeed. The Trump years will not be remembered well—not by voters, not by history since the man in charge “couldn’t focus on governing, and he was prone to abuses of power, from ill-conceived schemes to punish his political rivals to a propensity for undermining vital American institutions.” Given all that, writes the author, and given Trump’s bizarre behavior and well-known grudges—e.g., he ordered that federal flags be raised to full staff only a day after John McCain died, an act that insiders warned him would be construed as petty—it was only patriotic to try to save the country from the man even as the resistance movement within the West Wing simultaneously tried to save Trump’s presidency. However, that they tried did not mean they succeeded: The warning of the title consists in large part of an extended observation that Trump has removed the very people most capable of guiding him to correct action, and the “reasonable professionals” are becoming ever fewer in the absence of John Kelly and others. So unwilling are those professionals to taint their reputations by serving Trump, in fact, that many critical government posts are filled by “acting” secretaries, directors, and so forth. And those insiders abetting Trump are shrinking in number even as Trump stumbles from point to point, declaring victory over the Islamic State group (“People are going to fucking die because of this,” said one top aide) and denouncing the legitimacy of the process that is now grinding toward impeachment. However, writes the author, removal from office is not the answer, not least because Trump may not leave without trying to stir up a civil war. Voting him out is the only solution, writes Anonymous; meanwhile, we’re stuck with a president whose acts, by the resisters’ reckoning, are equal parts stupid, illegal, or impossible to enact.

Readers would do well to heed the dark warning that this book conveys.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5387-1846-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Remarkable bravery fluently recounted.

THE GIRL WITH SEVEN NAMES

A NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR'S STORY

The ably reconstructed story of the author’s convoluted escape from North Korea, detailing the hardships of life there and the serendipity of flight.

A supremely determined young woman, Lee chronicles her life in North Korea and her defection in her late teens in 1998. With the assistance of co-author John, she re-creates a picaresque tale of incredible, suspenseful, and truly death-defying adventures, which eventually led her to asylum in South Korea and then America. The author grew up largely in the northeast province of Ryanggang, bordering the Yalu River with China, and her family home was in Hyesan. Her father was a privileged member of the military, and her enterprising mother was a successful trader on the black market. The family, including younger brother Min-ho, did not endure the hardships of famine like people of low songbun, or caste, but the author learned that her father was not her biological father only shortly before he died by suicide after being trailed by security, beaten, and imprisoned in her mid-teens. Her mother had previously married and divorced another man. At age 17, the lights of China, directly across the river, beckoned, and the author managed to cross and establish contact first with a trading partner of her mother’s, then dissident relatives of her father’s in Shenyang. While the author had no intention of leaving her mother, it was apparent that it was too dangerous for her to return. Her relatives shielded her for a few years, trying to arrange a marriage with a wealthy Korean-Chinese man, from whom the author fled at the eleventh hour. Working as a waitress in Shanghai afforded some invisibility, though she was always susceptible to con men and security police. As the narrative progresses, the author’s trials grow ever more astounding, especially as she eventually tried to get her mother and brother out of North Korea.

Remarkable bravery fluently recounted.

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-755483-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperCollins 360

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more