Giving : how each of us can change the world

by Bill Clinton

Hardcover, 2007




New York : Knopf, c2007.


Examines the types of charitable work done by individuals and nonprofit organizations to demonstrate how anyone can make a difference in society through the life-changing act of giving.

User reviews

LibraryThing member fulner
This audio book was all in all Okay. I think there is an important thing to take note that this was written in 2006, such before Mrs. Clinton was to announce that she was seeking the Presidency. As such I think the Clintons were looking for a way to paint themselves in a positive light as caring people, which may or may not be true.

The majority of the book is giving to explaining why its important for everyone to give. From the needs of everyone's spirit, including all major religions instructing you to, to the betterment of society, to how it makes you feel, tax benefits, and governments ineptness to get anything done on its own. There is a long list of various organizations you can give to, and stories about how each of them make an impact in there own way. This includes two organizations that I support regularly, Heifer International and Operation Christmas Child of Samaritan's Purse. As well as donating time and skills for those who money isn't the best way to make a difference.

However, what was good in this book was pretty much smashed by the final chapter. After spending most of the book telling why YOU as an individual need to give, then Clinton decides to tell you that it also counts if you spend time trying to "change the system" and get the government to give to people. Even after going into long winded exerts of how ineffective government is by its very nature, he somehow tries to convince you that the nature can be changed. He even gives examples of how its happening now, including "up and coming young Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick" those of use from Michigan have always known he was scum, and by 2013 (granted nearly 8 years after this book was released) most of the rest of the world sees so too.

So if you want to get motivated why YOU need to give, or if you have already decided to give but don't want to spend time actively researching which organization you agree with to give your hard earned funds to, then this book is for you.

If you like the pseudo-educated southern drawl of Bill Clinton himself, then pick up the audio book for an even less involved decision making process on your giving. But above all, take the last chapter as a grain of salt at the most.
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LibraryThing member msjoanna
This is comfort-food, feel-good reading. The book doesn't contribute to a grand philosophical debate about the best ways to spend time or humanitarian duty or anything else. It just highlights the work that various groups and individuals are doing by giving time, coming up with new ideas, and giving money. It's nice to hear the stories of the people and organizations featured in the book, and I think the book's emphasis on measurable results is good. Overall, I enjoyed listening to Bill Clinton reading the text.

For what it's worth, I was finally inpired to make some microloans through Kiva, which is something I'd been meaning to do since I heard about the idea.
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LibraryThing member lisaflip
I like the premise of this book but reading it didn't do much for me. I learned about some new humanitarian organizations but some of it was repetitive. It would be a good book for a young person investigating how to volunteer their time or resources to worthy causes. President Clinton did a good job of highlighting different ways and scenarios to volunteer one's time. But this book probably won't stay with me or influence me over time.… (more)
LibraryThing member brsquilt
Excellent resource - but a tedious read for book club.
LibraryThing member sussabmax
This was a quick and easy read, basically a survey of several different effective charity efforts, both global and local. It was very inspiring, and I got several different ideas of things I could do to help others. There was a fair amount of self-promotion, but I imagine that is a hard habit to break after a lifetime in politics, and it clearly wasn't the main intent of the book.

I wondered as I read this book: how much of this was ghost written? On the one hand, why would a politician be a good writer? That's what speechwriters are for, right? On the other hand, this wasn't great writing. It was fine, it was easy to read, but it was pretty straightforward. Surely a reasonably intelligent person (which I believe describes Bill Clinton) could put a book like this together, maybe with some editorial help. But still, he's a busy guy, does he have time to write this book? Either way, it doesn't really change my feelings about this book (it's not like James' Frey's fictional memoir), but I do wonder.
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LibraryThing member sunnydrk
Excellent resource about how to give back. This book looks at not only financial giving but time and talent giving.
LibraryThing member Moniica
Bill Clinton encourages each us to give throughout this book, giving us examples of the amazing work other people have done from all walks of life and how we can give, too. From giving money, giving time, giving skills and more, this book inspires us to give even a little, showing us how much can good just a "little" does.
My Opinion: I have been interested in giving for a while now, and it has helped me see how my new volunteer work is important. I hope to give more in the future.… (more)
LibraryThing member Zissou54
An inspiring book that encourages people to do all that they can to improve the world and the lives of those in desperate need. He encourages people to give to charities, volunteer, or partake in some other good activity that will help those in need. He knows we all can't give vast sums of money or dedicate all of our time to helping others, but small acts of kindness here and there will create a better world for years to come. I did feel a call to action after reading this book and maybe in a small way I helped change the world in a positive way. I know President Clinton is a controversial figure in the United States today, but if you can look beyond his past mistakes and any political disagreements you may still hold, this book truly is a legitimate attempt to make our world just a little better and safer.… (more)
LibraryThing member KamGeb
This book seemed like just a list of charities that people had done. Some were interesting. But a lot was talking about how with social entrepreneurship you can make a difference in policy that can make giving more efficient. I personally found the book boring. It also seemed like he was still running for office. He would explain how his policies in office improved society and the environment.… (more)
LibraryThing member minlshaw
The former president makes the case for charitable contributions of time and money, offering a showcase of various operations around the world as examples. The pace moves quickly; he rarely devotes more than two consecutive paragraphs to the same organizational effort. Still, it reads pretty dry and it's a bit discouraging that nearly every example he holds up has to be qualified with the disclaimer that while most of us aren't capable of operating on that kind of scale, with those kinds of resources, everyone of us can do something. I was kind of hoping for more clear-cut examples of how the rest of us could give without having to establish a foundation. There are a handful of genuinely moving anecdotes that made this rewarding, and the back of the book includes a directory for organizations and books cited throughout each chapter that could be quite handy for any number of reasons. It's not essential reading by any means, but I confess that I do feel like I've run out of excuses for not being more participatory in helping to improve the world.… (more)
LibraryThing member LivelyLady
GIVING is a wonderful collection and listing of the types of giving and the people that give. Examples of this are "Giving of Time" which lists ways to contribute such as joining the Peace Corps or Doctors without Borders. However, the same chapter has anecdotal examples such as the HIV postive patient in Africa who has gone to volunteer at the clinic she to which she had gone.

Examples of giving range from a young girl who starts beach clean-ups to Bill and Melissa Gates and their humanitarian efforts. Of course, the author takes every opportunity to talk about the giving and charity work of he and his wife, but it is his book.

I enjoyed this book and found some new ideas on ways in which I can give back. One of the most helpful sections of the book is called "Resources". This lists organizations' names, web-sites, e-mail addresses and mail addresses according to the chapter in which they were mentioned.

This book will stay on my shelf as a personal reference for me for giving.
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