Off the Beaten Path: Stories of People Around the World

Overview

Author Ruth Colvin provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives, cultures, and beliefs of people around the world through their own stories, as she visits nine countries providing literacy and business training; stories of poverty and wealth, of prejudice and service, of unsung and unknown heroes. Readers will meet people from every walk of life: a holy man in India, a banned leader and revolutionary in the apartheid system of South Africa, lepers in Madagascar, a maharajah and...

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Overview

Author Ruth Colvin provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives, cultures, and beliefs of people around the world through their own stories, as she visits nine countries providing literacy and business training; stories of poverty and wealth, of prejudice and service, of unsung and unknown heroes. Readers will meet people from every walk of life: a holy man in India, a banned leader and revolutionary in the apartheid system of South Africa, lepers in Madagascar, a maharajah and an illiterate entrepreneur.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Journal of Books
Our experience through Off the Beaten Path: Stories of People Around the World by Ruth Colvin is both humbling and enlightening. We see , through the illumination of cultural differences, human similarities. We feel, in a word, connected.
Library Journal
In her introduction, 94-year-old Colvin (founder, Literacy Volunteers of America, now ProLiteracy) writes, "I collect people the way others collect stamps or coins." Her collection includes a Hindu holy man, unsung heroes fighting apartheid, Nigerian women running an aluminum factory, maximum-security prisoners in Zambia, the king of Swaziland, Chinese Christians, an Ecuadorean folklore artist, lepers in Madagascar, and a newborn baby in Cambodia. This diverse medley of stories accumulated from ten developing countries represents decades of international volunteer work by Colvin and her husband. Rather than focusing on her obvious passion for adult literacy training, Colvin reveals her deeply cultivated respect for cultural, racial, and religious diversity, concluding with the observation that "people are people" everywhere. The chapters are organized by country; this results in a scattered, fast-paced description of those the author met during her travels. Fortunately, the introduction and epilog fill in some gaps. Occasional photos enhance the text, including shots of Colvin receiving awards from two U.S. Presidents. VERDICT Straightforward and authentic, this book is recommended for general readers keen on international travel, volunteering, or literacy.—Rebekah Wallin, Paris
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815609933
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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