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Half the Sky

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Half the Sky

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Product Review (submitted on March 1, 2010):

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is an astounding piece of journalism covering a wide range of the issues women in third world countries must face on a daily basis. Genital mutilation, sex slavery, lack of even the most basic health care, and no resources to care for themselves or their children. Kristoff and WuDunn shine a spotlight at the horrific conditions in which many women live today. Sound depressing? It would be, but they also give an in depth analysis on how things can be changed and what you, as an individual, can do to help. While all the stories start out heartbreaking many have uplifting and hopeful endings. Women everywhere are fighting back and all they need is a helping hand.

The book is well written and laid out nicely including hard statistics and numbers mixed in with very personal stories that bring the tragedies to a very personal level. I could have done with less of the numbers and more personal stories. The authors carefully explain that too many numbers make people feel disconnected with a problem and then go on to make the blunder anyway. Still, their message comes across loud and clear. I loved the last section on how to make a difference. I especially liked discovering websites like kiva where with $25 and a click of the mouse you can make a very personal impact on someone's life.

The audio version is beautifully read by Cassandra Campbell. She has the sensitivity to narrate through the harsh, brutal parts and the ability to let you celebrate the triumphant ones.