Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change

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Book Reviews

 

Excerpts and reviews of top books on social innovation

 

Nonprofit Management

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less

By Robert I. Sutton & Huggy Rao | Reviewed By Sam Goldman

The art of expanding an organization is less about aiming high than about "grinding it out."

 

Philanthropy

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much

By Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir | Reviewed By Timothy Ogden

The new book Scarcity provides critical insights for designing better anti-poverty programs, but not for allocating scarce philanthropic resources.

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Education

Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools

By Diane Ravitch | Reviewed By Mara Sapon-Shevin

The movement to reform public schools through competition and testing is a "hoax," according to a one-time promoter of the movement.

 
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Urban Development

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities

By Benjamin R. Barber | Reviewed By Milton Friesen

Urban leaders offer a model for tackling big global problems that nation-states are failing to address.

 
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Environment

Breaking New Ground: A Personal History

By Lester R. Brown | Reviewed By Teresa Odendahl

The founder of the Worldwatch Institute and the Earth Policy Institute pursues an unfinished agenda.

 
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Socially Responsible Business

The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers

By Paul Polak & Mal Warwick | Reviewed By Tina Sciabica

There's money to be made by selling "ruthlessly affordable" products to the world's 2.7 billion poorest people.

 
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Urban Development

A Country of Cities

By Vishaan Chakrabarti | Reviewed By Carol Coletta

Investment in "hyperdense" cities is, according to one writer, the key to solving many problems that afflict US society.

 
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Civil Society

Clash!

By Hazel Rose Markus and Alana Conner | Reviewed By Joan Miller

To address social conflicts, we must learn to balance "independent" and "interdependent" selves, two cultural psychologists argue.

 
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Technology & Design

Rewire

By Ethan Zuckerman | Reviewed By Lucy Bernholz

Internet technology can help us to connect, globally and otherwise, but only if we structure it well.

 
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Human Rights

However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph

By Aimee Molloy | Reviewed By Rajasvini Bhansali

The saga of Molly Melching and Tostan, her Africa-based organization, illustrates the power of community-led change.