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Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World…
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Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World (2007)

by Bill Clinton

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An inspiring book that encourages people to do all that they can to improve the world and the lives of those in desperate need. He encourages people to give to charities, volunteer, or partake in some other good activity that will help those in need. He knows we all can't give vast sums of money or dedicate all of our time to helping others, but small acts of kindness here and there will create a better world for years to come. I did feel a call to action after reading this book and maybe in a small way I helped change the world in a positive way. I know President Clinton is a controversial figure in the United States today, but if you can look beyond his past mistakes and any political disagreements you may still hold, this book truly is a legitimate attempt to make our world just a little better and safer. ( )
  Zissou54 | Apr 23, 2014 |
This audio book was all in all Okay. I think there is an important thing to take note that this was written in 2006, such before Mrs. Clinton was to announce that she was seeking the Presidency. As such I think the Clintons were looking for a way to paint themselves in a positive light as caring people, which may or may not be true.

The majority of the book is giving to explaining why its important for everyone to give. From the needs of everyone's spirit, including all major religions instructing you to, to the betterment of society, to how it makes you feel, tax benefits, and governments ineptness to get anything done on its own. There is a long list of various organizations you can give to, and stories about how each of them make an impact in there own way. This includes two organizations that I support regularly, Heifer International and Operation Christmas Child of Samaritan's Purse. As well as donating time and skills for those who money isn't the best way to make a difference.

However, what was good in this book was pretty much smashed by the final chapter. After spending most of the book telling why YOU as an individual need to give, then Clinton decides to tell you that it also counts if you spend time trying to "change the system" and get the government to give to people. Even after going into long winded exerts of how ineffective government is by its very nature, he somehow tries to convince you that the nature can be changed. He even gives examples of how its happening now, including "up and coming young Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick" those of use from Michigan have always known he was scum, and by 2013 (granted nearly 8 years after this book was released) most of the rest of the world sees so too.

So if you want to get motivated why YOU need to give, or if you have already decided to give but don't want to spend time actively researching which organization you agree with to give your hard earned funds to, then this book is for you.

If you like the pseudo-educated southern drawl of Bill Clinton himself, then pick up the audio book for an even less involved decision making process on your giving. But above all, take the last chapter as a grain of salt at the most. ( )
  fulner | Dec 2, 2013 |
Truly inspiring. President Clinton outlines a diverse array of giving throughout the world. He includes people of all nations, races, ethnicities, ages and socio-economic backgrounds. While I am sure that the print version would urge one to action as well, the audio makes one want to run through a wall for someone else's benefit. I don't know what it is, he doesn't raise or overly inflate his voice, (and though polished, you can definitely tell that he is from Lil Rock)but he could probably get up and recite the phone book in any locker room and inspire a team to great things.

He does a great job of making you feel like that EVERYONE can contribute. You can tell that he is absolutely focused on the future; he wants everyone to give, but never, ever makes you feel like a schmuck for not having done enough thus far.

Included is a 14-page resource that lists all the organizations he covers. (On the audio version, it is a pdf document on the final disc.)

But it is also yet another reason to lament our over-polarized society. Because it is written by Bill Clinton, many people of differing political views may well never pick it up. And that is really a shame. ( )
  ScoutJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
I like the premise of this book but reading it didn't do much for me. I learned about some new humanitarian organizations but some of it was repetitive. It would be a good book for a young person investigating how to volunteer their time or resources to worthy causes. President Clinton did a good job of highlighting different ways and scenarios to volunteer one's time. But this book probably won't stay with me or influence me over time. ( )
  lisaflip | Apr 10, 2012 |
Excellent resource about how to give back. This book looks at not only financial giving but time and talent giving. ( )
  sunnydrk | Feb 2, 2012 |
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To the dedicated staff, volunteers, partners,
and financial supporters of the
Clinton Foundation, Library, and School of Public Service,
and to the memory of Ellen Verweij, a fine Dutch nurse
who lost her life while serving in our
HIV/AIDS initiative in Lesotho
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In every corner of America and all over the world, intelligence and energy are evenly distributed, but opportunity, investment, and effective organizations aren't.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307266745, Hardcover)

Here, from Bill Clinton, is a call to action. Giving is an inspiring look at how each of us can change the world. First, it reveals the extraordinary and innovative efforts now being made by companies and organizations—and by individuals—to solve problems and save lives both “down the street and around the world.” Then it urges us to seek out what each of us, “regardless of income, available time, age, and skills,” can do to help, to give people a chance to live out their dreams.

Bill Clinton shares his own experiences and those of other givers, representing a global flood tide of nongovernmental, nonprofit activity. These remarkable stories demonstrate that gifts of time, skills, things, and ideas are as important and effective as contributions of money. From Bill and Melinda Gates to a six-year-old California girl named McKenzie Steiner, who organized and supervised drives to clean up the beach in her community, Clinton introduces us to both well-known and unknown heroes of giving. Among them:

Dr. Paul Farmer, who grew up living in the family bus in a trailer park, vowed to devote his life to giving high-quality medical care to the poor and has built innovative public health-care clinics first in Haiti and then in Rwanda;
a New York couple, in Africa for a wedding, who visited several schools in Zimbabwe and were appalled by the absence of textbooks and school supplies. They founded their own organization to gather and ship materials to thirty-five schools. After three years, the percentage of seventh-graders who pass reading tests increased from 5 percent to 60 percent;'
Oseola McCarty, who after seventy-five years of eking out a living by washing and ironing, gave $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi to endow a scholarship fund for African-American students;
Andre Agassi, who has created a college preparatory academy in the Las Vegas neighborhood with the city’s highest percentage of at-risk kids. “Tennis was a stepping-stone for me,” says Agassi. “Changing a child’s life is what I always wanted to do”;
Heifer International, which gave twelve goats to a Ugandan village. Within a year, Beatrice Biira’s mother had earned enough money selling goat’s milk to pay Beatrice’s school fees and eventually to send all her children to school—and, as required, to pass on a baby goat to another family, thus multiplying the impact of the gift.

Clinton writes about men and women who traded in their corporate careers, and the fulfillment they now experience through giving. He writes about energy-efficient practices, about progressive companies going green, about promoting fair wages and decent working conditions around the world. He shows us how one of the most important ways of giving can be an effort to change, improve, or protect a government policy. He outlines what we as individuals can do, the steps we can take, how much we should consider giving, and why our giving is so important.

Bill Clinton’s own actions in his post-presidential years have had an enormous impact on the lives of millions. Through his foundation and his work in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, he has become an international spokesperson and model for the power of giving.

“We all have the capacity to do great things,” President Clinton says. “My hope is that the people and stories in this book will lift spirits, touch hearts, and demonstrate that citizen activism and service can be a powerful agent of change in the world.”

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:00 -0400)

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Examines the types of charitable work done by individuals and nonprofit organizations to demonstrate how anyone can make a difference in society through the life-changing act of giving.

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