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Book DetailsISBN: 9781844086825
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Book Review: Half The Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof - Reviewed by JoKin (13 Jul 2011)
A lifetime of international correspondence and research for the New York Times qualifies Nicholas Kostof & his wife Sheryl Wu Dunn to author such an important book. This was their personal mission, which emerged through decades of exposure to the issues discussed. You will never read a better researched book, which while packed full of information, manages to transcend the facts with captivating anecdotal illustrations. It is accessible, powerful and essential. Our world can never change until the reality of it is truly understood by the people who have the power to make change. It is therefore essential reading. Every woman you know & love should have a copy & every father, brother, husband and friend should read it too.
Each issue is introduced to the reader through the eyes of a woman who has lived it and gone on to flourish. Her story is conveyed with respect and clarity, without judgement or excessive sentiment. The facts are presented alongside, so that the sheer amount of information sits naturally amongst the report. While dismal and shameful in most instances, the effect of the stories is always hopeful. Here is the worst humanity can do, and here is how one woman can create hope in the wake of it. The effect is a perfect and satisfying balance seldom achieved in a book with such a mission. You will, however, be ashamed to be human in places, and you will be moved to act.
You are firstly empowered with information (the stories) and then secondly empowered with the means to respond. After the stories comes a report of western aid money, and analysis of successful versus unsuccessful interventions. This is not about a lot of money, but rather about small amounts strategically targetted.
A high quality, carefully crafted report which imparts hope and the means to achieve it.
Book Review: Half The Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof - Reviewed by CloggieA (25 May 2011)
Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is a “must read”. It is by no means an easy book to read; it is sometimes quite confronting; in places you will cry; you will be disgusted by the actions of some members of the human race, both male and female; the words and actions of some medical personnel, aid agencies, churches and governments will leave you gasping. But ultimately, this is a hopeful book. The authors explore causes of, and possible solutions to, maternal mortality, human trafficking, sexual violence, discrimination against girls and female genital mutilation. This book tells us that at least part of the answer is gender equality: educate and empower women. It is full of data, but also full of humanity. It has a few surprising facts about diverse things such as sweatshops, about Rwanda, about what interventions are and aren’t effective, about TV and about salt. It demonstrates how local knowledge and grassroots programs are most effective in educating and empowering women. I found myself frowning, smiling, crying and, quite a few times, laughing out loud! I especially enjoyed the way the Huichol tribe in Mexico ensure that the pain of childbirth is shared. If you despair at whether you can make a difference to the plight of women in the Third World, this book shows that you can. If the only action a person can take is to donate money, then this book guides the reader to where that will be most effective. We owe it to every woman who has ever suffered in the Third World to read this book.
Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China as New York Times correspondents. Mr Kristof won a second Pulitzer for his op-ed columns. They live in the New York area with their three children.
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