The autobiography of the larger-than-life, visionary financier and humanitarian who led the World Bank through one of its most intense and tumultuous decades in the struggle against global poverty.
As president of the World Bank for a decade, James Wolfensohn tackled world poverty with a passion and energy that made him a uniquely important figure in a fundamental arena of change. Using a lifetime of experience in the banking sector, he carved a distinct path in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe for the institution that serves as the major lender to the world's poor.
In A Global Life, Wolfensohn tells his astonishing life story in his own words. A man of surpassing imagination and drive, he became an Olympic fencer and a prominent banker in London and New York. An Australian, he navigated Wall Street with uncommon skill. Chairman of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for many years, he is also an amateur cellist. But it was his tenure at the World Bank that made him an international force. While at the helm of this controversial institution, Wolfensohn motivated, schemed, charmed, and bullied all the constituencies at his command to broaden the distribution of the world's wealth. Now he bluntly assesses his successes and failures, reflecting on the causes of continuing poverty.
Much more than a business story, this is a deeply reflective account of a fascinating career and personality.
I enjoyed this book agree that the author comes across as very objective. The early part of his life interests more on a human level and the later part on a political/economic level. The negotiations with Bush and Condoleezza Rice and the way the criticisms to the world bank were handled were among other parts of the book uniquely insightful.
I didn't always follow it well as it was not always in chronological order and perhaps deserved more careful listening than a listen whilst driving and doing chores.