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Publisher's Summary

In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Believing that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Yunus aimed to support that spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which the poor might lift themselves out of poverty forever. Grameen Bank now provides over $2.5 billion in micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh. Ninety-four percent of Yunus' clients are women, and repayment rates are nearly 100 percent.

In Banker to the Poor, Yunus traces the journey that led him to rethink the economic relationship between rich and poor and recounts the challenges he faced in founding Grameen. He provides wise, hopeful guidance for anyone who would like to join him in the burgeoning world movement of micro-lending to eradicate world poverty.

©1999 Muhammad Yunus; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize

  • Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Nonfiction, Unabridged

"The Grameen Bank's record is illuminating and inspiring....This is an aid program that works." (New York Times)
"Muhammad Yunus is a practical visionary who has improved the lives of millions of people in his native Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world. Banker to the Poor [is] well reasoned yet passionate." (Los Angeles Times)
"[Yunus'] ideas have already had a great impact on the Third World....hearing his appeal for a 'poverty-free world' from the source itself can be as stirring as that all-American myth of bootstrap success." (Washington Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Will change the way you think about the economics.

This truly enlightening account will give you a whole new perspective on giving the poor a hand up instead of a hand out.

I must have been living under a rock - I picked this book on a whim, not having a clue about Dr. Yunus, who won a Nobel prize for the work he has done in empowering the poor.

It takes a powerful argument to chance the way I think about a subject. I'm a free market capitalist to the core yet I've always known there were certain weaknesses in the system which could give greed a toe hold. Yunus developed a capitalist economy with a social conscience. If he had outlined his ideas in a presentation I would have rejected them as "blue sky" idealism. But he has several billion dollars worth of credibility. It is difficult to argue with success like that!

After listening through (twice so far, it's on my regular re-listen list) I'm actually changing the way I view economics and am working to become a part of this solution that he's created.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Colin
  • Fort Wayne, IN, USA
  • 02-05-07

A passionate man arguing a passionate case...

Yunus describes the history and operation of Grameen and microcredit in general in simple, effective terms while consistently projecting his passion for the process and his frustration with the global banking system for not seeing its potential. This is no dull economics lecture but a lively human tale of dedication and commitment, with many real-world examples. It was published before the Nobel Prize announcement but you can sense that Yunus is a real game-changer.

Ray Porter (narrator) does a nice job on communicating the passion (almost anger at times), and handling the Bengali pronunciation.

Highly recommended, you'll believe that one man can change the world.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andras
  • Woluwe St Lambert, Belgium
  • 06-19-07

Great book

I loved it, a little bit too long but amazing topic, well written, fantastic narrator

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Novato, CA, USA
  • 03-30-07

Book's a 5; reader's a 3.

This is a great story of successful, innovative development in the poorest corners of the world. One can't help but be inspired by Yunus' accomplishments. But the narrator hectors the reader like a middle school vice principal scolding a truant. I have seen the author on television and he comes off as a genial, humble person. Somehow that personality got lost in the reading. It's still worth a listen, though, because Yunus has much to teach us about alleviating poverty and despair. He's a true hero.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

compassion has no limits or boundaries

Professor Yunus works are inspiring especially to those who cares for less fortunate ones. I could not shut off my ipod until I heard the whole narative. Excellent writing and narration.

This book is recommended to those who dream of a better future for all man kind. " In educated society povertiy should be found in museums where we could tell our children, why and how our ancestors let it infest us for centuries."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonnie
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 03-08-09

Good story and well written

I enjoyed this book. It shows what someone can do with a good idea and persistence. It was very inspiring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Fairfax, VA, USA
  • 07-09-07

People matter

This is a wonderful book that illuminates life (especially for women) in one of the poorest countries of the world, and one man's largely successful struggle to change things. He exaggerates and misstates some things, but everybody with a conscience should read it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Drew
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 05-25-07

Truly inspiring

This is a must-read for anyone wishing to gain insights into how the poor of the world really live, and to at least one way that can make a difference in their lives (the answer's not charitable hand-outs).
Neither a ringing endorsement of the virtues of capitalism, nor a socialist idealist picture of the world as it should be. The work of Professor Yunus represents a pragmatic and proven effective way of making the world a better place.
Read this book, get inspired, and take action (if only to reduce the amount of ignorance in the universe of how much impoverished people of the world suffer and how some can be helped).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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social entreprenure does and CAN work

Will definitely listen to this book again.
"level the playing ground so that the poor can get out of it and we can do away with handouts"

we just need to provide them with a platform to improve themselves by themselves.

  • Overall

Genesis for Social Entrepreneurs & Investors

This is one of the seminal texts on Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing. A must read for anyone interested in either field.

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  • Mary-Alice
  • 03-28-16


Yunus is a very inspiring figure. I loved hearing about the organisation that he's built and his vision for the future. The narrator did well overall but I felt like his reading of the book gave it a more aggressive tone than what I 'heard' when I read a chapter of the printed version.