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The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
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The Blue Sweater

by Jacqueline Novogratz

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3271333,822 (3.91)13
  1. 00
    Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus (espertus)
    espertus: Both are inspiring accounts of the growth of organizations that harness market forces to empower impoverished people to improve their own lives.
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» See also 13 mentions

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" Jacqueline Novogratz left a career in international banking to spend her life
on a quest to understand global poverty and find powerful new ways of tackling
it. It all started back home in Virginia, with the blue sweater, a gift that
quickly became her prized posession - until the day she outgrew it and gave it
away to Goodwill. Eleven years later in Africa, she spotted a young boy
wearing that very sweater, with her name still on the tag inside. That the
sweater had made its trek all the way to Rwanda was ample evidence, she thought
of how we are all connected, how our actions - and inaction - touch people
every day across the globe, people we may never know or meet." --jacket
  collectionmcc | Mar 6, 2018 |
While the central tenet is allied with those held by academics like Dambisa Moyo and William Easterly, who argue that development aid (not to be confused with humanitarian aid) is a hindrance more than a service, Jacqueline Novogratz’s ‘The Blue Sweater’ is a personal, reflective and deeply humane testament to the power of economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Partly a heartfelt reflection on her years in Rwanda, before and after the 1994 genocide and partly a lighthearted memoir of a young activist trying to find where she is welcome (and more amusingly, where she is not) in the world around her, this book is a warmly toned, inspiriting guide to making a difference in our communities. ( )
  rabbit.blackberry | Oct 19, 2017 |
While the central tenet is allied with those held by academics like Dambisa Moyo and William Easterly, who argue that development aid (not to be confused with humanitarian aid) is a hindrance more than a service, Jacqueline Novogratz’s ‘The Blue Sweater’ is a personal, reflective and deeply humane testament to the power of economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Partly a heartfelt reflection on her years in Rwanda, before and after the 1994 genocide and partly a lighthearted memoir of a young activist trying to find where she is welcome (and more amusingly, where she is not) in the world around her, this book is a warmly toned, inspiriting guide to making a difference in our communities. ( )
  rabbit.blackberry | Oct 19, 2017 |
Novogratz had a solid middle-class upbringing but dreamed of doing more with her life. This book is about her journey to implement the principles she held dear. As she was about to graduate from the University of Virginia she felt at loose ends, not sure what or where she wanted to work, feeling she really wanted to take a year off to “tend bar and ski and figure out how I would change the world.” But to appease her mother she went on the round of interviews scheduled by the school for graduating seniors. Much to her surprise she landed a job with Chase Manhattan Bank, travelling the world to review the quality of the bank’s loans, especially in troubled economies. It was the start she needed, though she didn’t quite fit in with the bank’s conservative culture. So she left her well-paying job on Wall Street to join a nonprofit microfinance organization for women, and went to Africa to “make a difference.” To say she was naïve is an understatement. Even those who were supposedly welcoming her help were suspicious and frequently sabotaged her efforts. But she didn’t give up, and today is the CEO of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit venture capital firm for the poor.

Novogratz relates stories of impoverished women on two continents that are uplifting, humorous, horrendous and heartbreaking. The stories from Rwanda are particularly distressing. But I didn’t connect emotionally with the book. It seemed more like an annual report or business plan. I’m sure my F2F book club will have a lot to discuss – mostly about the issues of poverty and human rights – but I don’t think the book is a great one. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 19, 2016 |
I opened this book and could not put it down. It had everything: it was very well written, was the perfect mixture of story, factual data, memoir and one of those books that makes you want to sell all you own and go out to conquer the world.

I cannot recommend this one enough! ( )
  aegossman | Feb 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I am not so sure I could honestly tell you to rush out and get this book. I read it from cover to cover, but it took me several weeks to finish. I was struggling with it. It was not written in a fashion that "sucked me in." I was initially intrigued by the story of "the blue sweater" which gave this book its name, and also serves as a true story creatively used to entice book sales. The endearing "we-are-all-connected" story about Jaqueline's charity sweater she finds being worn several years later by a young boy in Africa is told in the first four pages of the book. It is not mentioned again until page 243. The totality of the book didn't feed my spirit like I was anticipating. In the end (in the middle of the book actually) I was left asking myself "Is this all I get?" And in the end I felt there was no real pay off for me muddling through to the end.
 
The Blue Sweater tells the story of Novogratz’s career from international banking to philanthropy.
 
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My family helped make me who I am...and they join me in dedicating this book to our larger family, those countless millions around the world who lack money and security but possess dignity and an indomitable spirit. For their time is coming, and this story is for them.
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They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I took mine and fell flat on my face.
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The author, a former international banker, relates her experiences trying to understand global poverty and working with the poor, and suggests ways in which the situation should be addressed.

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Jacqueline Novogratz is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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