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The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank
     

The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank

5.0 1
by David Bornstein
 

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The Price of a Dream tells the remarkable story of the Grameen Bank, the groundbreaking "village bank" that has revolutionized the way people around the world fight poverty. The Bank's model—providing collateral-free "micro-loans" for self-employment to millions of women villagers in Bangladesh—has inspired and shaped the thinking of

Overview

The Price of a Dream tells the remarkable story of the Grameen Bank, the groundbreaking "village bank" that has revolutionized the way people around the world fight poverty. The Bank's model—providing collateral-free "micro-loans" for self-employment to millions of women villagers in Bangladesh—has inspired and shaped the thinking of economists, policy makers, business people, development workers and a generation of social entrepreneurs. Both liberal and conservative policy circles have championed the Bank's ability to transform the lives of its clients and help them escape the vicious cycle of deep economic hardship.
Drawing upon interviews with villagers, development workers, economists, and the Bank's founder Muhammad Yunus—a recipient of numerous humanitarian awards—the book shows how the Grameen Bank grew from an experiment in one village to an organization that lends billions of dollars in small individual loans.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Described by its founder, Muhammad Yunus, as a "socially conscious capitalist enterprise," the much-lauded Grameen Bank in Bangladesh seems to be one of the Third World's brightest success stories. By viewing poor people as potential entrepreneurs, the bank has helped village people, especially women, to better their lives in small but significant ways. Bornstein, a Canadian journalist based in New York City, provides an episodic, sometimes choppy portrait of Grameen, Yunus and some of the people whose lives have been affected by the bank. Bornstein's portrait isn't all rosy, however. He hedgingly describes conflicting opinions on whether the bank, which receives significant amounts of grants and low-cost loans, could survive on its own. And, since many American organizations have been studying Grameen, he awkwardly assays the burgeoning "microcredit" movement that aims to provide loans to the poor here. The lesson of Grameen, he concludes, is not extrapolation from abroad but the importance of seeking new solutions to and institutions for complex social problems. (May)
Library Journal
The Grameen Bank, located in Bangladesh, is an experimental financial institution born out of the vision of one man over two decades ago. Mohammad Yunus, the founder, felt that if a bank could be designed to serve the poorest people-often landless villagers-they could be trusted to manage their own money and solve their own problems. More important, Yunus felt they could become self-sufficient and break the cycle of poverty. Bornstein, a Canadian journalist, interviewed many bank employees (including Yunus) and Bangladesh villagers whose lives were changed as a result of their involvement with Grameen. "This is about people managing themselves, solving their own problems, creating their own jobs," one bank official comments. Bornstein's tale is memorable and often inspirational, and he tells it exceedingly well. Highly recommended for public libraries.-Richard S. Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.
Kirkus Reviews
A welcome and readable account of the effort of a unique bank in Bangladesh to help that country's poor.

Bangladeshi native Muhammad Yunus came to America to study economics and returned home to aid his countrymen. So poor that it is often called "The Fifth World," Bangladesh has high poverty and birth rates and is frequently devastated by monsoons. Its thousands of villages are poor, but Yunus saw that many of the residents had real skills and came to believe that if they were provided with the means to borrow money they could find ways to support themselves. In 1975, he began what became the Grameen Bank (gram is the Bangla word for village) and distributed small loans—some for as little as five dollars—to the poorest. Most of the loan takers were women. In return, he demanded precise, weekly repayment of the loans and insisted that villagers join together in small groups so that if a member fell behind, the others would encourage her to pay her loan. Yunus kept Grameen bound to its ideals, and today the bank thrives, lending at a fair interest rate while still turning a profit. It has made loans in excess of billion and has over one thousand branch offices. The employees of Grameen have an absolute dedication to the bank, and the bank has had an enormous effect on Bangladesh. Bornstein, a journalist, does an excellent job of tracing the growth of the bank in relationship to the country's recent history. He also cogently explains why large public works projects in developing countries are frequently disasters. Yunus's view, one that he teaches to other countries as well, is that the populace of a developing nation must learn to take care of itself.

A genuinely amazing story and an interesting read in an age when aid to the poor is demonized.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195187496
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Pages:
376
Sales rank:
915,502
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

David Bornstein is a journalist who has written articles for Atlantic Monthly, Details, Newsday, and Science. He is author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, which was described by the Iew York Times as "must reading" for "anyone who cares about building a more equitable and therefore a more stable world."

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The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The writer does an excellent job potraying the poor in this book about the Grameen Bank and Bangladesh. A truly wonderful read.