HEARTS ON FIRE by Jill Iscol


Twelve Stories of Today's Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action
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Iscol and Cookson bring together 12 stories of activists who made an impact on a population through philanthropy, activism and businesses focused on the well-being of others.

Iscol has been involved in many philanthropic and governmental organizations, and Cookson is an experienced educator who founded an education-consulting company, Ideas Without Borders. The featured activists used different methods to put their idealism into action. Examples include the journalist who leads the Man Up campaign, a doctor who created a floating clinic in Lake Tanganyika (between Congo and Tanzania), founder of the Freelancers Union and a CEO whose company enables people to run their own “microwork factories.” One of the redeeming values of this book is that the authors opt for lesser-known names rather than humanitarians who receive plenty of publicity. They show that changing the life of a population can be done on a smaller, less-publicized scale. However, though the characters are admirable, the book itself is dull, and the disjointed narratives become repetitive rather than inspiring. Part of the problem is the writing. Each activist writes his or her own story, and not all have the storytelling skills to bring their journeys to life. Also lacking is a strong thread to piece the narratives together and deliver a singular conclusion or moral. Iscol writes in her conclusion that the goal of this book is to inspire people to commit to making the world a better place, but her call to action is too vague and not very impactful.

Some inspiring content packaged in a generic, unengaging way.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8129-8430-9
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2012


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