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The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time

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The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time Cover

ISBN13: 9780802777515
ISBN10: 0802777511
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hired by ForbesTraveler.com to review some of the most luxurious accommodations on Earth, and then inspired by a chance encounter in Dubai with the impoverished workers whose backbreaking jobs create such opulence, Bob Harris had an epiphany: He would turn his own good fortune into an effort to make lives like theirs better. Bob found his way to Kiva.org, the leading portal through which individuals make microloans all over the world: for as little as $25-50, businesses are financed and people are uplifted. Astonishingly, the repayment rate was nearly 99%, so he re-loaned the money to others over and over again.

After making hundreds of microloans online, Bob wanted to see the results first-hand, and in The International Bank of Bob he travels from Peru and Bosnia to Rwanda and Cambodia, introducing us to some of the most inspiring and enterprising people we've ever met, while illuminating day-to-day life-political and emotional-in much of the world that Americans never see. Told with humor and compassion, The International Bank of Bob brings the world to our doorstep, and makes clear that each of us can, actually, make it better.

Review:

"No book this important should be this delightful. Bob Harris's funny, tender, and incisive opus works as both an engaging personal memoir and a clear introduction to the world of microfinance. Filled with astonishing anecdotes and indelible characters from those corners of the world most of us never explore, Bank of Bob celebrates a process that is improving the lives of millions through a radically simple concept: moving us past the 'virtue of charity' to the exultation of connection. Give this book your time. It will pay you back." Joss Whedon, filmmaker

Review:

"Surprising in so many ways: a travelogue that makes the people in exotic locales as accessible as your next-door neighbors; a book about poverty alleviation that often makes you laugh out loud (or cry, sometimes on the same page); and a portrayal of loving families in challenging environments that leaves you feeling stronger, more connected to the world, and full of hope. In short: joyous, humane, and inspiring." Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group

Review:

"Bob Harris shows us how to save the world without being an insufferable prig — The International Bank of Bob is enlightening, inspiring, and entertaining." Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature

Review:

"Read this book. Be amazed at a man as decent as Bob Harris. Learn how the world works. Actually help improve the world. And be entertained, amused, and enlightened along the way. Seriously. Just by reading a book." Arthur Phillips, author of The Tragedy of Arthur

Review:

"Truly inspirational. Ten minutes after I finished this book, The International Bank of Ken opened in Cambodia." Ken Jennings, author of Because I Said So!

Review:

"An engaging, fully transparent, upbeat narrative, with chockablock footnotes and resources." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

The inspiring memoir of an ordinary American who turned his brief brush with opulence into a joyful adventure of investing in the world's working poor.

About the Author

Bob Harris has had a diverse career as a TV writer, TV and radio personality, and political columnist. He has appeared on Jeopardy! thirteen times, staging some of the most memorable upsets and collapses in the show's history. His first book, Prisoner of Trebekistan, chronicling his Jeopardy! experience, was widely praised, as was his second, Who Hates Whom, a pocket summary of more than 30 conflicts around the world. He holds an honors degree in electrical engineering and applied physics from Case Western Reserve University. Bob lives in Los Angeles. Visit his website at www.bobharris.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

The Wolfman, March 5, 2013 (view all comments by The Wolfman)
Bob's book is unstoppably great with wonderfully, hysterically funny -- and always poignant -- stories and footnotes. This book has surprisingly more heart amd soul than anything you are likely to have read in quite awhile, and while teaching us all about the ins and outs of micro finance, we are reminded that the world is indeed a fragile, beautiful, small, revolving ball in time and space, and as humans, no matter where we live, the things that we share in common far outway our differences. The International Bank of Bob, as much as anything else, is a prayer for peace; a resounding testament to the indominability of the human spirit.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
tvigders, March 5, 2013 (view all comments by tvigders)
From Oakland to Kathmandu; from Westwood to Dar es Saalaam, Bob takes us on an unparalleled, epic journey. You could read a library (assuming you can still find one) full of economics textbooks and not get a tenth of the understanding of the complex global finance issues gleaned from The International Bank of Bob. But "Bank of Bob" does so much more than open the reader's eyes - Harris personalizes the needs of the third world but not by invoking pity but rather admiration. If you don't want to be blown away or have your world view irrevocably altered then don't read this book.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
lisaklink, March 4, 2013 (view all comments by lisaklink)
I have to agree with Joss Whedon about “The International Bank of Bob.” He says that “No book this important should be this delightful.” He’s right. Bob Harris’ new book tackles huge issues like economic disparity and global poverty by bringing them down to a human scale.
Bob found himself staying in one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, courtesy of ForbesTraveler.com. Inside the hotel was a vending machine that dispensed gold bars. Really. Just outside, he saw construction crews working twelve hour shifts for miniscule wages in 110 degree heat. Faced with the stark contrast, Bob wondered if there was anything one guy could do to make a difference.
He found Kiva.org, a website where anyone can lend $25 to entrepreneurs in some of the poorest regions of the world. Bob began to make loans. A lot of loans. But were they actually helping people improve their lives? He decided to find out. Most of the book follows Bob on his travels around the world to visit Kiva borrowers and talk to people at the local microfinance institutions (MFIs) which actually make the loans.
Readers will certainly learn a lot about microfinance from “The International Bank of Bob,” but it’s about more than that. As the self-described “average Ohioan” meets a seamstress in Tanzania, a furniture maker in Sarajevo and a dairy farmer in Kenya, he finds more similarities than differences. Like his own hard-working father, the entrepreneurs who get microloans through Kiva are trying to build a better future for their families.
These stories are told with an engaging, optimistic voice. Bob finds humor in his own, occasional fish-out-of-water situations. But he also tries to process what it must be like to live through the recent violence in places like Rwanda and Bosnia, asking in disbelief: “How do you not go crazy?” By researching the impact of microfinance, Bob discovers the resiliency and interconnectedness of people all over the world.
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(4 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780802777515
Subtitle:
Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time
Author:
Harris, Bob
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Subject:
Banks & Banking
Subject:
Volunteer Work
Subject:
Business-Banking
Subject:
General
Subject:
Finance
Subject:
Developing & Emerging Countries
Publication Date:
20130305
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Business » Accounting and Finance
Business » Banking
Business » Small Businesses » General
Featured Titles » Biography
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Economics » Global Economics
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802777515 Reviews:
"Review" by , "No book this important should be this delightful. Bob Harris's funny, tender, and incisive opus works as both an engaging personal memoir and a clear introduction to the world of microfinance. Filled with astonishing anecdotes and indelible characters from those corners of the world most of us never explore, Bank of Bob celebrates a process that is improving the lives of millions through a radically simple concept: moving us past the 'virtue of charity' to the exultation of connection. Give this book your time. It will pay you back."
"Review" by , "Surprising in so many ways: a travelogue that makes the people in exotic locales as accessible as your next-door neighbors; a book about poverty alleviation that often makes you laugh out loud (or cry, sometimes on the same page); and a portrayal of loving families in challenging environments that leaves you feeling stronger, more connected to the world, and full of hope. In short: joyous, humane, and inspiring."
"Review" by , "Bob Harris shows us how to save the world without being an insufferable prig — The International Bank of Bob is enlightening, inspiring, and entertaining." Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature
"Review" by , "Read this book. Be amazed at a man as decent as Bob Harris. Learn how the world works. Actually help improve the world. And be entertained, amused, and enlightened along the way. Seriously. Just by reading a book."
"Review" by , "Truly inspirational. Ten minutes after I finished this book, The International Bank of Ken opened in Cambodia."
"Review" by , "An engaging, fully transparent, upbeat narrative, with chockablock footnotes and resources."
"Synopsis" by , The inspiring memoir of an ordinary American who turned his brief brush with opulence into a joyful adventure of investing in the world's working poor.
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