A Global Life: My Journey Among Rich and Poor, from Sydney to Wall Street to the World Bank

Overview


As president of the World Bank for a decade, James Wolfensohn tackled world poverty with a passion and energy that made him a uniquely important figure in a fundamental arena of change. Using a lifetime of experience in the banking sector, he carved a distinct path in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe for the institution that serves as the major lender to the world's poor.

In A Global Life, Wolfensohn tells his astonishing life story in his own words. A man of surpassing ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$22.54
BN.com price
(Save 24%)$29.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (66) from $1.99   
  • New (24) from $1.99   
  • Used (42) from $1.99   
A Global Life: My Journey Among Rich and Poor, from Sydney to Wall Street to the World Bank

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$29.95 List Price

Overview


As president of the World Bank for a decade, James Wolfensohn tackled world poverty with a passion and energy that made him a uniquely important figure in a fundamental arena of change. Using a lifetime of experience in the banking sector, he carved a distinct path in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe for the institution that serves as the major lender to the world's poor.

In A Global Life, Wolfensohn tells his astonishing life story in his own words. A man of surpassing imagination and drive, he became an Olympic fencer and a prominent banker in London and New York. An Australian, he navigated Wall Street with uncommon skill. Chairman of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for many years, he is also an amateur cellist. But it was his tenure at the World Bank that made him an international force. While at the helm of this controversial institution, Wolfensohn motivated, schemed, charmed, and bullied all the constituencies at his command to broaden the distribution of the world's wealth. Now he bluntly assesses his successes and failures, reflecting on the causes of continuing poverty.

Much more than a business story, this is a deeply reflective account of a fascinating career and personality.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Now 76 years old, Wolfensohn (Voice of the World's Poor) has had a rich and varied life as an investment banker, chairman of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, head of the World Bank, and finally advocate of peace as special envoy to the Middle East. The first third of the book is devoted to a fascinating chronicle of his early life growing up in a close-knit, middle-class Jewish family. His parents, who emigrated from Britain to Australia, faced tough financial times during the Great Depression and over-coddled the young Wolfensohn, expecting him to excel. Though he nearly flunked out of Sidney University, he ultimately earned a law degree and went on to receive an MBA at Harvard and become a U.S. citizen. He writes candidly of the mistakes he made during his long and successful career and the lessons they taught him. Married to his college sweetheart, with three children, he claims that the idea of writing this book, "grew out of a desire to leave… a record of the events that shaped me" for his adult children, and in the hope that younger readers might be encouraged to "follow at least some part of the path taken." (Oct.)
From the Publisher

Kirkus, August 15, 2010
“The author’s candor … is refreshing, as is his frank assessment of his own strengths and shortcomings…. An often engaging memoir that is especially strong in its insights into global poverty.”

Kofi A. Annan
A Global Life is an eloquent and moving memoir of one man’s journey to make a difference in the world. In his typically candid and refreshing style, Jim Wolfensohn describes the milestones in his life which led him to believe that unless we tackle the core issues of development and poverty, we will not create a peaceful world for our children. This is a book that will inspire all those who see the need for change in this world, and wish to make a contribution.”

Michael Beschloss
“Jim Wolfensohn is not only a hero to the world’s poor, but a preeminent global leader in politics, philanthropy, business and finance, the arts, international security, and even sports. He is a force of nature; there is no one else like him; and this elegant and absorbing book gives us the inside story of how he did it all. Anyone who seeks to understand the global history of the last half-century should be sure to read it.”
 
Vartan Gregorian
“This is an absorbing memoir written by an extraordinary man who has lived through extraordinary times. The arc of James Wolfensohn’s career has spanned the globe, from Australia to England to the U.S., building the Global Life he writes of in these pages with great eloquence and honesty. Wolfensohn’s utter commitment to living a life of dignity and to promoting equity and social justice resonate through every page of this volume. It is a must-read.” 
 
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
"It's a long way from Sydney, Australia to the pinnacle of the world's public and private sectors.  Jim Wolfensohn made the journey with courage, confidence and ability.  A Global Life is instructive, inspiring, powerful."
 
Strobe Talbott
“As Jim Wolfensohn’s vivid and powerful story makes clear, he is a rare and in many ways unique citizen of the world—a man for all seasons and all regions. He was a transformative president of the World Bank, and his indefatigable (and hitherto undervalued) efforts on behalf of peace the Middle East could not be more relevant to today’s headlines from those troubled lands.”

Library Journal
Wolfensohn's varied accomplishments include being a successful financier at Schroders and Salomon Brothers as well as at his own firms, becoming the ninth president of the World Bank, and playing a major role in the planned withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza region. He was born in Australia to Jewish parents who emigrated from England and who often experienced financial hardships. In this memoir, Wolfensohn describes how his father's successes and failures impacted him and how they were a major influence in developing his business savvy. He also reveals aspects of his personality such as persistence, risk taking, and viewing mistakes as opportunities to show us what helped him succeed in many ventures. VERDICT Individuals with an interest in international business and the provision of aid to economically disadvantaged countries will find this book fascinating for Wolfensohn's insights, worldwide experiences, and adventures. Recommended.—Caroline Geck, Newark Public Schs., NJ
Kirkus Reviews

The story of the author's unlikely ascent from middle-class Australian Jewish upbringing to Wall Street wealth, president of the World Bank and Middle East peace negotiator.

Born in 1933, Wolfensohn rose above his modest upbringing to earn a law degree at the University of Sydney and MBA at Harvard University. Always curious and talented, he learned fencing well enough to compete in the 1956 Olympic Games, served in the Royal Australian Air Force and became a talented cello player. He found world finance fascinating, especially as he tried to figure out the global wealth-poverty gap. The first half of the book frequently reads like a family album, as the author and his wife Elaine and their three children move among the cities of London, New York and Washington, D.C., because of his job shifts. The author's candor about people he respects and dislikes is refreshing, as is his frank assessment of his own strengths and shortcomings. The memoir picks up noticeably in 1995, when Wolfensohn won the approval of President Clinton and other leaders to become president of the influential and controversial World Bank. Since the end of World War II, the World Bank had tried to help impoverished nations with infrastructure such as roads and dams, and had also played a role, along withitsrelated agency, theInternational Monetary Fund, in curing the economies of debtor nations. Wolfensohn tells of resistance he faced inside and outside the World Bank as he tried to emphasize the elimination of poverty, improved treatment of subjugatedwomen and environmental degradation in dozens of nations on multiple continents. The author served his second five-year term as bank president during the George W. Bush administration, and in general contrasts that administration unfavorably compared to Clinton's. After leaving the bank presidency, Wolfensohn served as an envoy trying to broker Israeli disengagement from Gaza, an effort that went poorly by his own admission, in part due to the doctrinaire positions of almost everybody involved.

An often engaging memoir that is especially strong in its insights into global poverty.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586482558
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author


James D. Wolfensohn was president of the World Bank from 1995 to 2005. He and his wife, Elaine, have three children.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue

1 A Long Way from New York 1

2 Setting Out 25

3 Stepping Up 45

4 Harvard 69

5 Learning My Craft in Australia 97

6 The Eurodollar Revolution 119

7 Becoming a Banker 135

8 The Outsider 155

9 Salomon Brothers and a New York-Based Career 179

10 On My Own 213

11 The Road to the World Bank 243

12 A Difficult Entry 267

13 Creativity and Change During the Clinton Years 309

14 A Fresh Look at Development 333

15 The Bush Years 357

16 Travel as Part of the Job 371

17 A New and Different Challenge 399

Epilogue 441

Acknowledgments 443

Notes 445

Index 449

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)