It’s hard to escape the escalating decline in world conditions. Whether it’s refugees’ stories from far flung war-torn countries, or reports involving the abuse of our environment and its critters, there is no limit to the different forms of media that are reporting global events non-stop. Even if the view outside our kitchen window is generally uneventful and peaceful, books like Half the Sky are a cold slice of reality pie.
Half the Sky focuses on human rights violations against women around the world, but mostly in Africa and Asia. Divided into areas of concern such as sex trafficking, systematic rape, maternal mortality, and illiteracy, Kristof incorporates statistics with personal life stories. Many of them were hard to listen to, and at one point I found myself stuck in rush hour traffic sobbing into my sweater sleeves. As “advanced” as mankind is, why are things like this still going on today? Why are these things generally unknown, although they’re not taking place in secret? I enjoy documentaries and books like these because they make me more aware of what is going on around the world. If all I believed was based on what I saw on the news, I’d be one short sighted individual.
Pee-Wee Herman summed me up when he said: “I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.” I mention him because my only complaint about this book, call me a pragmatic idealist if you want, was that I don’t like being told what to feel. A compelling life story was almost always followed by a proposed plan of action that equated the group of women to monetary assets. Everything was reduced to dollars and cents. I get it, people higher up won’t focus on these women’s issues if it’s not profitable, but isn’t that the sad part to begin with? What’s a life worth? No matter how much is donated to certain causes, or how many laws are passed, it ultimately can’t change the way people think or feel, let alone how they treat others. I guess I would have prefered the journalistic touch without the agenda. Just my musings, at any rate. Highly recommended if you’re interested in current events in regards to the oppression of women, and what is being done to bridge these injustices.
Audiobook addict with eclectic interests.
This book should be required reading in every high school in the United States. If every young person could read, understand and appreciate this book our world might be a better place. At the very least we would appreciate how lucky we are. I love the fact that there is some balance between the horrible oppression reported and the success of those who have managed to overcome their circumstances --- there is some hope. This is one of those books where you have to stop listening long enough to google the people, organizations, and events mentioned because you want to know more than the book provides.
LIfe-long reader, fond of mysteries, scifi, fantasy. Prefer good story-tellers, with interesting premises. Road warrior-so listen a lot!
This book is chilling in its presentation of the callousness in most of the third world toward women and by extension their children. These authors tell individual stories, apparently personally gathered, of women who have been caught up in sex trafficking, , maternal neglect, rape as an instrument of war, and the acceptance of domestic violence and violence as control of women. They weave these horrific stories with statistics and success stories - and a persistent drumbeat on how education can help to empower these women.
Unfortunately, they becomes repetitive in her insistence that everyone needs to spend a few months in the third world living with these problems, and at the same time, she derides the aid workers who flood in, live like kings, and do very little good because of lack of understanding of the local milieu. The end thus becomes much less interesting.
The reader however, does an excellent job, and I listened to her with pleasure.
I did not read the print version.
too many to mention
statistics blew me away.
Think you have problems? You dont.
I was glad I found so many disparaging reviews about the presentor speaking monotone. Though it almost kept me from getting the book. I listed to the preview and got a glimpse of what I would hear and I was prepared. But actually, I DID NOT find her monotone AT ALL!!! On the other hand, maybe it was because I EXPECTED her to be so.
Admittedly, I watched the PBS special before reading this book, and fell in love with the individual stories of courage against the odds and the power of individuals to make a substantive difference. Listening to the book was indeed, a transformative experience. In addition, it is well-researched and a balanced portrayal of global women's fight against inequity.
The narration was at times robotic, however, I have to give kudos to the narrator for taking the time to learn how to properly pronounce complex names of places and individuals.
YEs I would listen to this book again so I don't forget.
The narrator seems to be genuinely concerned about the issues discussed in the book. Therefore it makes for a better read/Listening experience.
I was really excited when I saw that this book was available on audio. Unfortunately, I didn't bother to check a sample. Listening to this book is like listening to an entire book read by Siri! It's completely robotic. I'm horrified that someone would be paid for this. In fact, I was convinced that the voice wasn't human, and started listening to other samples of pieces narrated by Campbell. It's definitely her, but I'm not sure what went on with this recording. I'll be reading the hard copy of the book, I guess. I'm really disappointed.
Troubling, saddening, hopeful
The ones blotted on my memory is the helplessness of those caught in awful cultural domination of women. As a man, my heart was broken for these women, and I often had tears in my eyes as I listened.
All the scenes of women who are triumphing over the impossible.
I did, but because of time could not.
I have different theological views than some of those expressed. It was easy for me to get past that to the overall thrust and mission of the book. This is a must read book, deserving wide circulation.
The print version is great as well but there was something about listening to the audiobook that really brought the material to life and in some ways, allowed me to have a more deeper emotional connection to the people in the book. It also allowed me to access the book more since I have such a busy life.
I'm not sure what can compare but one of the next books on my list is "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World" by John Wood. I've heard that was quite inspring as well.
Absolutely! I likely missed some of the information the first time, as it was so in depth.