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Half the Sky

Nonfiction: Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
Unabridged   10.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 09/10/2009

An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year
Winner-Washington Post Book World's 10 Best Books of the Year
A New York Times Bestseller!

Half the Sky

Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781598879285
Digital Download ISBN:9781598879391


“Women hold up half the sky”—Chinese proverb

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as your guide, undertake a journey through Africa and Asia to meet an extraordinary array of women struggling under profoundly dire circumstances—and an equally extraordinary group that have triumphed.
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Product Description

Two Pulitzer Prize winners expose the most pervasive human rights violation of our era—the oppression of women in the developing world—and tell us what we can do about it.

An old Chinese proverb says “Women hold up half the sky.” Then why do the women of Africa and Asia persistently suffer human rights abuses? Continuing their focus on humanitarian issues, journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn take us to Africa and Asia, where many women live in profoundly dire circumstances—and some succeed against all odds.

A Cambodian teenager is sold into sex slavery; a formerly illiterate woman becomes a surgeon in Addis Ababa. An Ethiopian woman is left for dead after a difficult birth; a gang rape victim galvanizes the international community and creates schools in Pakistan. An Afghan wife is beaten by her husband and mother-in-law; a former Peace Corps volunteer founds an organization that educates and campaigns for women’s rights in Senegal.

Through their powerful true stories, the authors show that the key to progress lies in unleashing women’s potential, that change is possible, and that each of us can play a role in making it happen.


“Cassandra Campbell’s somber reading couldn’t be more attuned to the authors’ mission as she interprets writing that is as intense as it gets. Her impressive depth carries listeners through the book's gruesome lows and inspiring highs, and ultimately to a place where they cannot dismiss this human rights tragedy.”
      —AudioFile [Earphones Award Winner]

“Strongly recommended.”
      —Library Journal [Starred Review]

“Strongly recommended.”
      —Library Journal [Starred Review]

“I really do think this is one of the most important books I have ever reviewed.”
      —Carolyn See, The Washington Post

“Stunning . . . [Half the Sky] belongs on the ‘must-read’ list because it offers perspective, insight, and clear-eyed optimism for why and how each of us can and should meet one of the great moral and humanitarian challenges of our times.”
      —Bill Gates, Sr., The Huffington Post

“If you have always wondered whether you can change the world, read this book. Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have written a brilliant call to arms that describes one of the transcendent injustices in the world today—the brutal treatment of women.”
      —Fareed Zakaria, author, The Post—American World

“This stirring book is at once a savage indictment of gender inequality in the developing world and an inspiring testament to these women’s courage, and their struggle for hope and recovery. An unexpectedly uplifting read.”
      —Khaled Hosseini, author, The Kite Runner

 “These stories show us the power and resilience of women who would have every reason to give up but never do. They will be an inspiration for anyone who reads this book, and a model for those fighting for justice around the world. You will not want to put this book down.”
      —Angelina Jolie

“I think it’s impossible to stand by and do nothing after reading Half the Sky.  It does what we need most, it bears witness to the sheer cruelty that mankind can do to mankind.”
      —George Clooney

Half the Sky is a passionate and persuasive plea to all of us to rise up and say ‘No more!’ to the 17th-century abuses to girls and women in the 21st-century world.  This is a book that will pierce your heart and arouse your conscience.”
      —Tom Brokaw

“I read Half the Sky in one sitting, staying up until 3 a.m. to do so. It is brilliant and inspirational, and I want to shout about it from the rooftops and mountains. It vividly illustrates how women have turned despair into prosperity and bravely nurtured hope to cultivate a bright future. The book ends with an especially compelling ‘What you can do’ to exhort us all to action.”
     —Greg Mortenson, author, Three Cups of Tea

“It’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of this book. Wonderfully written and vividly descriptive, Half the Sky can and should galvanize support for reform on all levels. Inspiring as it is shocking, this book demands to be read.” 
      —Anne Rice, author, Called Out of Darkness

Author Bio

NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF and SHERYL WUDUNN were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, and WuDunn the first Asian-American to win a Pulitzer. They were foreign correspondents and editors for The New York Times, winning their Pulitzer for coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy protests. At The Times, WuDunn also worked as a television newscaster and a business executive. She now is an investment advisor in New York. Kristof, a Rhodes Scholar, is now an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and earned a second Pulitzer for his columns about genocide in Darfur. The authors live near New York City with their three children.

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