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A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,041 ratings  ·  396 reviews
An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad—a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be.

In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Knopf
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Chandler You might try getting them to listen to the audiobook. You can listen to books as you exercise, drive, clean, play games on your phone etc. It can be …moreYou might try getting them to listen to the audiobook. You can listen to books as you exercise, drive, clean, play games on your phone etc. It can be a useful way to experience books that are long and/or challenging. (less)

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Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The most expensive book I've ever purchased? Yes, by a lot if you count the four times I got up from reading this to make a donation to one of the amazing organizations whose stories are included. More importantly, this has the potential to be the most impactful book ever. Coming at a time when I'm beginning to think about my own future in larger terms than the usual "which necktie will I wear tomorrow morning," this book was an inspiration, a challenge, and I think a very useful tool to focus/r ...more
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
A foggy cliff-side path.

The premise of this book is wonderful: let's do more of what's proven to work to decrease poverty, disease and other problems. "A Path Appears" starts off well with NFP, the Poverty Lab and other monuments of evidence-based practice. But then it detours into stories about charismatic individuals, trendy concepts, and other dead ends.

The authors acknowledge that they have been led astray at times, for example, by the "Three Cups of Tea" charlatan. But even there, they mud
Clif Hostetler
The purpose of this book is to encourage readers to join efforts to end poverty. This is a wide ranging subject, and this book often admits to its complexity. The book doesn’t shy away from mentioning the mistakes and unintended consequences that have resulted from some past philanthropic attempts to fight poverty. But the overall tone of the book is upbeat and positive.

The overall message is that modern tools such as data mining, academic studies, professional bookkeeping practices, and worldw
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Another fabulous book from Kristof and WuDunn. What makes their work especially meaningful is their ability not only to highlight problems in the world, but to also suggest real, workable solutions where the reader can contribute. Beginning with poverty issues in the US, they move to a section that discusses the efficacy of different charities. A large section on water charities and how to market your charity also made interesting reading for those who work with these types of organizations. Th ...more
Karen Ashmore
Nov 22, 2014 rated it liked it
While Kristof and WuDunn are certainly on the right path, they tend to advocate more for charity than a sustainability perspective and lean more towards hype than substance. For example, they are big fans of charity:water -- which is full of glitter, marketing and celebrity presence but does not always focus on sustainable, long term solutions like or other organizations that work for community wide, permanent and self-sustaining solutions for clean water. Still, they present some good ...more
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, arcs
If you’ve ever felt that you are too small to make a difference in the world, then reading this book is essential. The authors examine not only the art and science behind giving, but describe successful local and global initiatives that have reshaped the world. The combination of practical advice and moving stories will motivate and inspire you.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There. This oughta make up for all the candied fluff I've been indulging in lately. There is so, so, so much to comment on here. I think this should be required HS reading instead of drivel like The Great Gatsby. In fact maybe the Great Gatsby characters would do well to read this. 45 stars. ...more
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Another wonderful book by Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. While some might find the book less emotionally powerful than Half the Sky this book is an excellent resource for those who are looking to make a difference in the world around them. It's packed with suggestions about how to give mindfully on any scale, including the importance of looking at Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. With an emphasis on the importance of early (like even pre-natal) interventions, all the way through trying to ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked the idea of this book. It was a reminder that we all need to do our part to help others and this is always a needed message. Charitable hearts are needed in this world to do big things and little things. In this book many practical avenues were explored for everyone....some were easy and simple and others were quite extensive.

I liked the history of this and how certain efforts have worked well for the impoverished. What I didn't like was the nay saying. I realize there have been epic f
Melissa Gans
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I did not enjoy this book very much. The authors are equally condescending towards their subjects, poor people who apparently just don't know any better and their readers, expecting them to simply accept their carefully chosen details and cherry-picked studies without analysis. Throwing money at social problems does not always work and rewarding people for participating in a culture of dependency is not prudent use of anyone's funds.

Giving can be good and make a difference. Find a good cause and
I read this for the Popsugar Challenge 2020 prompt "a book by or about a journalist". This is my second book by this socially conscious couple, and like Half the Sky, I found it very readable and inspiring. This one speaks of charity giving, both monetary and volunteer time, and really makes you think you should find a way to contribute to the overall good of society throughout the world. It gives a lot of concrete examples of efforts being made around the world (including in the USA), and inclu ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is really three resources. Two of them are useful, one not so much. First, it is a series of stories about successful fund-raising and charitable activities. Most of the book is centered on what I believe are a very narrow definition of charitable activity. The authors are prone to making blanket statements about which charities are serving the needs of society (they believe social welfare and cause charities are), I think that is a very limited view. But the stories are interesting an ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I needed to read this book. Lots of great suggestions as well as a better understanding of the non-profit world.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While reading this book I considered becoming a foster parent, going back to school to get my masters degree in social work, adopting a child with special needs, and on and on. While I am not quite ready to take a big step like these things I've mentioned, it really opened my eyes to possibilities. This book takes a compelling look at how people can make a difference in the world. It looked at altruism from every angle possible. Why we give, how we feel when we help, the best ways to help, how s ...more
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015
So,so good. The book highlights organizations that are doing humanitarian work effectively, details data that explains why altruism creates lasting happiness, and explores how we rate and determine which organizations "deserve" our money. I was inspired to start making regular donations to a couple of different organizations. The book gets 5 stars for the information it communicates but also for what it (hopefully) motivates people to do.

A couple of key points I appreciated:

A charity that spends
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

I loved Kristof and WuDunn's Half the Sky and was very eager to read this book. A Path Appears was well-written, but I felt that it was not as powerful as Half the Sky . If you are wanting to volunteer and/ or donate to pressing issues at home and abroad, then this book is perfect for you. It not only describes what you can do to help, but puts faces to these issues and highlights why the need to resolve these issues is paramount.
Lori Cox
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
This book is by the authors of Half the Sky and goes into various ways a person can make a difference in the world.
The main points are:
*Even if you think what you are contributing is just a drop in the bucket, it is how buckets get filled.
*There is a charity or organization out there for you, which fits your interests, your time and your purse.
* Just like you would do research if you were in the market for a new TV, make sure to research various charities.
This book has a lot of stories of
Inspirational! These are true accounts of women in all parts of the world that have survived Horror and are working towards life with inspirational, creative determination. These are stories of courage and perseverance that kindle empathy for humanity. A forever book to refer to when life seems bleak.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Kristof is perhaps the most believable reviewer of charities. He is impassioned, gives fascinating anecdotes, cites his sources, and provides refuting information where appropriate. Each time I read his work, I want to run out and carefully donate money to a charity.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was overall unimpressed with this. Think Chicken Soup for Volunteers - short stories, very little practical application pointers.
Matt Morgan
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was all about opening your eyes to issues around the world and right in our backyard and different ways in which we can help. They key being WE. You don't need millions in your bank account, or unlimited free time to travel the globe and volunteer. The couples point in writing this book was that there is not one single answer to fighting poverty or curing all the suffering - there is a unique way we all can help.....because there is a ton of suffering going on.

The book could be depress
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love everything this husband and wife team write, apparently. Loved "Half the Sky", which focused on helping women specifically. This book focuses on philanthropy in general, both globally and in the US.

The author goes through what studies show about what kind of programs have been most effective, combined with stories showing how some of the programs began and the effect they have had on individuals. So much helpful info on how ordinary people who aren't extraordinarily rich can make the mos
Sarah Hayes
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Life changing. I wish I had read this a couple years ago when Joanna gave it to me for Christmas!

I love Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s writing style- talk about power couple- where they have a very macroeconomic, fact based and practical approach to social change. I love a good argument that addresses hidden/opportunity costs related to a project, I.e how investing in clean cookstoves is a great idea in theory- if they worked properly and people used them. So treating charity like any othe
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Despite the important critiques of these authors, I still believe in what they are doing. I appreciated the focus on evidence-based success in their approach to highlighting people and groups doing good in the world.

My biggest take-away: our society's obsession with non-profit overhead and the detrimental effect of this attitude on real change, sustainability, and scale. In order to do good work, people need to be payed fairly and operating costs need to be covered. I felt this acutely when I de
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Another book for yet another college class. The purpose of this book is to promote charitable acts & it accomplishes via heartwarming & heartbreaking stories. The tone is optimistic & upbeat without sounding preachy.
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an uplifting book about the many non profits available for donations. I would have rather seen more story line about the people that started each of these non profits but I’m sure it would have been too lengthy. My hat Is off to the authors of this timely book and their research on social progress. You will discover numerous non profits in which you’d like to donate. Good luck paring them down to what you can afford. They are all worthy!
Sarah H
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring and practical ways to help make peoples' lives better. ...more
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Kristof WuDunn home run!
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Again, Kristof and Wudun have written a powerful book. I so appreciate their guidance in the field of giving.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good anecdotes and inspiring portrayals throughout, but I really enjoyed the lists and calls to action at the end of the book.
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Nicholas Donabet Kristof is an American journalist, author, op-ed columnist, and a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. He has written an op-ed column for The New York Times since November 2001 and is widely known for bringing to light human rights abuses in Asia and Africa, such as human trafficking and the Darfur conflict. He has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to 150 countries ...more

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