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Publisher's Summary

Everyone from Bono to the United Nations is looking for a miracle to bring schooling within reach of the poorest children on Earth. James Tooley found one hiding in plain sight. While researching private schools in India for the World Bank, and worried he was doing little to help the poor, Tooley wandered into the slums of Hyderabad's Old City. Shocked to find it overflowing with tiny, parent-funded schools filled with energized students, he set out to discover if schools like these could help achieve universal education.

Named after Mahatma Gandhi's phrase for the schools of pre-colonial India, The Beautiful Tree recounts Tooley's journey from the largest shanty town in Africa to the hinterlands of Gansu, China. It introduces listeners to the families and teachers who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and educating themselves.

©2013 James Tooley (P)2014 Cato Institute

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my best book for 2015

A most read for any concern mind about education for poor, most especially in African. It shows how foreign aid on education is been channels to wrong side.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Book

This book was just awesome. Although not an economics book, it's full of economic lessons. And it shows vividly that intentions don't always equal results and that government can often muddle things up when it tries to do good. Incentives matter. Always.

Before listening to this book I have little doubt that if I had ever considered the question (which I hadn't) I would have assumed that poor kids in the countries that Tooley studied cannot possibly attend private schools. I stand corrected.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A rare gem: educational, entertaining and inspiring

The Beautiful Tree is the amazing real-life story of my friend James Tooley, who uncovered the education revolution taking place in emerging markets through low-cost private schools...

A rare gem that manages to be at the same time educational, entertaining and inspiring, this book should be required reading for education professionals!

James, BTW, put his money where his mouth is, and went on to start multiple low cost private schools in different emerging countries. This provides a practical validation to his research and puts James in the rare category of people that have succeeded both in academia and entrepreneurship.

Great work James!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Truly Inspiring Story

This is a great story that tells the story of a movement that is changing the world.

The triumph of private schools over government monopoly will be looked back on by historians as one of the seminal events in the 21st-century in the advancement of human freedom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful