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A Beginner's Guide to Changing the World: A True Life Adventure Story
"Though an interest in Buddhism and Tibet clearly motivates Losada, this is not ultimately a story about either topic. In what really seems like an extended conversation, her joy in finding her activist way becomes yours....In the end, you may feel you've made a friend, one who, in this delightful read, has shared her conviction that the only difference between a dreamer and an activist is a willingness to take the first step — even if, deep down, you have absolutely no idea what you're doing." Amelia Newcomb, Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Synopses & Reviews
Tired of half-hearted attempts to effect change in the world, Isabel Losada decides to walk the talk and embarks on a journey that takes her from protests in the streets of London to India and back again.
Sometimes you just have to do something, don't you? Sometimes an injustice comes along and you think, "No, this cannot be," and — rather than just turn off the TV, or throw away the newspaper one more time — you know it's time to act.
If you or I decide to take an action for a cause beyond ourselves, one in which we have no historical reason to become involved, will we be greeted with cynicism and become a laughingstock? Perhaps. But I enjoy making people laugh. So that's the first problem solved.
It doesn't matter what the injustice is that's got you hopping about. It could be the destruction of the rain forest, the war in the Middle East, or the drug addiction in your neighborhood — it's all the same. It's making a difference I'm playing with here.
So begins Losada's fast-moving narrative, a tale of romance, history, travel, politics, Buddhism, human rights, lively interviews, and, above all, humor. From visits to Nepal and Tibet to meetings with the Chinese ambassador and Tibetan awareness-raising groups, Isabel single-handedly hatches a stunning PR coup involving Trafalgar Square, a sixty-foot banner, and a base-jumping parachutist launching from Nelson's Column who captures headlines worldwide... then she meets the Dalai Lama. Warm and funny, moving and thought provoking, this astonishing book celebrates the fact that no matter what our passions are, we can make a difference.
Isabel's List of Ten Indispensable Things You Need to Change the World:
"Losada, an English actress, singer and TV producer, detailed her New Age search for happiness in her previous book, The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment. Now she turns away from the 'tummy-button' of her search for personal happiness to take on social action on behalf of Tibet, harshly occupied by China, and its leader in exile, the Dalai Lama. Losada is disappointed by British organizations working in support of an autonomous Tibet, because they don't necessarily embrace the Dalai Lama ('the sanest voice on the planet'). To ease her frustration, Losada makes some contacts, develops a Web site and dreams up some publicity schemes, including 'tits for Tibet,' involving topless women in a van. Cooler heads prevail, and the author settles for a parachutist jumping from Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square while unfurling a picture of the Dalai Lama, a stunt that attracts international news coverage. Losada also travels to Tibet and falls in love with a monk. An audience she has with the Dalai Lama is recounted in glowing terms. She seems unfamiliar with political, historical and religious complexities, but there's no doubt that Losada is a good-humored, hard-working activist for Tibet. Her heart is in the right place, but much of the time her head doesn't follow. Illus. not seen by PW. Agents, Jonathan Lloyd and Christy Fletcher. (On sale June 1)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Losada's courageous, audacious, and frequently humorous journey from mildly interested observer to fully committed activist is an inspirational and illuminating study in the power and possibility of one person's faith and determination." Booklist
Book News Annotation:
The author, who had never been politically active before, decided to become involved in the struggle for a Tibet free of Chinese occupation. Her efforts eventually resulted in a banner-drop at London's Trafalgar Square and a meeting with the Dalai Lama. Drawing on the same Buddhist influenced philosophy she set forth in The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment, she describes her activities and the inner wellspring she drew on during her involvement, while simultaneously offering her take on the politics and history of Tibet.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Isabel Losada has worked as an actress, singer, television producer, and full-time single parent. She is the author of The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment, which is a bestseller in twelve countries. She really does live on Battersea Park Road, in London.
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