Archive for the ‘Book’ Category.

Book Recommendation: William Kamkwamba

The book’s not even written yet, and I’m still ready to recommend it. In addition to the sources Pedro cites, I would cite his appearance on The Daily Show, where I get more of my news than I probably should.

Book Recommendation: The Blue Sweater

I had the opportunity to hear Jacqueline Novogratz speak about her new book The Blue Sweater. You can hear her speak at The Aspen Institute here in a program called “Murder, Philanthropy, Blue Sweater.”

The book is the story of the events that led her to found The Acumen Fund, a philanthropic venture that invests in change instead of making grants and donations. The idea is to require results.

What makes this book stand out is that it was really written by its author. Many such books are written in a generic voice that show the influence of an editor or ghost writer, but The Blue Sweater is written in the voice of Jacqueline Novogratz. It is not the voice of a professional writer (though she is an excellent speaker) but it conveys honesty and emotion.

Another element that makes this book stand out is its honest description of failure. Novogratz had to make several mistakes before she founded the Acumen Fund, and these are described in detail.

Finally, there is the Rwandan genocide. Unlike most accounts that focus on the victims or focus on the policies, Novogratz knew people on both sides — a few of them — and describes the situation with empathy and without easy answers. She even knew one woman who was a vital key to ensuring that the genocide happened and has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

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