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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,037 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Muhammad Yunus Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455187393
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In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest citizens of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Believing that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Yunus aimed to support that spark of personal initiative and enterprise by which the poor might lift themselves out of poverty forever. Grameen Bank now provides over 2.5 billion dollars of micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh, with repayment rates at nearly 100 percent.

In Banker to the Poor, Yunus traces the journey that led him to rethink the economic relationship between rich and poor and recounts the challenges he faced in founding Grameen. He provides wise, hopeful guidance for anyone who would like to join him in the burgeoning world movement of micro-lending to eradicate world poverty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Yunus’s] ideas have already had a great impact on the Third World…hearing his appeal for a ‘poverty-free world’ from the source itself can be as stirring as that all-American myth of bootstrap success.”

    Washington Post

  • “A wonderful yet heartbreaking memoir, expertly realized by narrator Ray Porter. This story is so powerful that it needs no embellishment, and Porter knows exactly how to read it with a touching and firm delivery that involves listeners instead of preaching to them…Porter delivers the material as if it were his own. A greater compliment there could not be for audiobook narration.”

    AudioFile

  • Banker to the Poor is an inspiring memoir of the birth of microcredit, written in a conversational tone that makes it both moving and enjoyable to read…Dr. Yunus's efforts prove that hope is a global currency.”

    Amazon.com

  • An AudioFile Earphones Awardwinner

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 2/8/2014

    " This is the book that is inspiring my sons' generation to get out in the world and make a difference in the lives of people not as lucky/wealthy. There is a real belief that organizations such as Grameen can begin to end poverty, one person at a time. Hooray! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Yelenick | 1/31/2014

    " Interesting read, also for my gender equity class. This book focuses on how one man made a difference for women, and the poor in general, in Bangladesh, by founding banks that were based on micro-credit loans. It is incredible what some women can do with a $25 loan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 1/24/2014

    " This book is fantastic. I greatly enjoyed reliving Mr. Yunus' demonstrated passion for those less fortunate, and his willingness to go to bat for them and innovate. The Grameen bank and microcredit has immense potential that will hopefully not be squandered on political considerations. This is an immensely important read for anyone interested in grassroots development solutions, which in my view are the only ones we should be pursuing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ari | 1/21/2014

    " Lovely book about Dr. Muhammad Yunus, basically the inventor of the micro finance movement. He saw a need in his community and he decided to solve the problem by giving out low-interest rate loans, especially targeting women. Yay! One of the factors I most enjoyed about this book is how Dr. Yunus candidly portrays himself as an academic stumbling along in the real-world trying to figure out how to apply his textbook theories to life. He does (continues to do) a fantastic job. This book is less a memoir and more of a story about a man creating and implanting a business plan. He briefly touches on his current personal life, reflects for a bit on his childhood but for the most part this book is solely about the birth of Grameen Bank. He also details how Grammen Bank positively impacts the lives of the poor it lends to. "In 1992, some four hundred Grameen borrowers were elected to union councils, and in 1996, Grameen borrowers led the way to an almost unthinkable feat-more women voted in the national election than men, which helped to nearly wipe out a political party that had taken positions against women's rights out of Parliament. [...] These astonishing results proved to us that once Grameen borrowers grew in self-esteem they would readily express their opinions" (pg. 196) and thus a baby civil society is born! IQ "All I really wanted was to solve an immediate problem. Out of sheer frustration, I had questioned the most basic banking premise of collateral. I did not know if I was right. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was walking blind and learning as I went along. My work became a struggle to show that the financial untouchables are actually touchable, even huggable. To my great surprise, the repayment of loans by people who borrow without collateral has proven to be much better than those whose borrowings are secured by assets. Indeed, more than 98 percent of our loans are repaid. The poor know that this credit is their only opportunity to break out of poverty. they do not have any cushion whatsoever to fall back on If they fall afoul of this one own, they will have lost their one and only chance to get out of the rut" (pgs. 57-58). Dr. Yunus makes an interesting point for helping the rural poor before the urban poor (well interesting to me. Most people probably already knew this). He says "If we alleviate suffering in the countryside, that will reduce the pressure on the poor to rush to Dhaka and clog the streets" (pg. 94), Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh. We definitely tend to neglect the rural poor, especially in America. Another new-to-me fact I learned was about the inefficiency of foreign aid. "Most foreign aid goes to building roads, bridges and so forth, which are supposed to help the poor 'in the long run'. The only people really benefiting from most of this aid, however, are those who are already wealth. Foreign aid becomes a kind of charity for the powerful while the poor get poorer. If aid is to have some impact on the lies of the destitute, it must be rerouted so that it reaches pro households more directly. I believe that a new aid methodology has be to be designed with new objectives. In fact, the direct elimination of poverty should be the objective of all development aid. Development should be viewed as a human rights issue, not as a question of simply increasing the gross national product (GP). When the national economy picks up, the situation of the poor is not necessarily improved. Therefore development should be redefined. IT should refer only to a positive measurable change in per capita income of the bottom 50 percent of the population" (pg. 146), whew. I completely agree! Western governments really need to reevaluate their foreign aid budgets and work on educating the public about how much money is really needed to be effective (and where this money should go) especially in these trying economic times. I hope the issues around micro finance continue to be investigated and the things are straightened out, there should be no intimidation of people in extreme poverty simply because they fall behind on their loan payments. Then micro finance begins to resemble the horrid moneylenders. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna Christina | 1/13/2014

    " It's rare that I find a nonfiction book so engaging that I can barely put it down. 'Banker to the Poor' is the story of Muhammad Yunus' journey to start micro financing in what is now Bangladesh. It has a personal side to it as well as an educational side, frequently citing statistics to support decisions Muhammad made along the way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ayesha Akhtar | 1/13/2014

    " M. Yunus is brilliant. This is a great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Veda | 1/8/2014

    " inspiring and motivate us to do the real works to people around us... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 11/2/2013

    " Amazing story of how small steps can build and lead to great change. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne | 10/4/2013

    " Well told story, interesting opinions about the causes of poverty and how to help people out of poverty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Pipa | 9/29/2013

    " AMAZING story of how muhammad yunus founded the grameen bank and in turn has lifted millions of bangladeshi out of poverty, given their ability to access capital. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie McKelley | 9/16/2013

    " GREAT book - an outstanding example of real-world economics in a story anyone can understand, illustrating small way that made a huge difference in people's lives - giving fiscal power to women "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Igor | 9/11/2013

    " Story about successful business philosophy - setting a bank for poor within positive and optimistic approach by Dr. Yunus. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lies Van Rompaey | 9/11/2013

    " Very interesting book. There is so much common sense and so much truth in what Mr. Yunus has to say. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 5/18/2013

    " What a great solution to end poverty. Plus it is told in a really readable, interesting way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa Lyden geraghty | 5/8/2013

    " Best business book I've ever read. Really interesting story about how he created a bank (for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize) to help the poorest of the poor get on their feet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 2/28/2013

    " Empowering book about how one man made a decision to try to fix a problem, and how this effort grew into a worldwide movement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lili | 2/27/2013

    " It is amazing what this man has done, but also amazing how badly written the book is. I did finally finish it, but it was tough going. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 1/15/2013

    " An inspiring read. It makes you want to go do something. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chanpheng | 1/3/2013

    " Autobiography of the man who set up the Grameen Bank, which is a model for providing micro-credit to the poor. Very inspiring story, as well as a good primer on how small group micro-credit works. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nag Nag | 4/28/2012

    " gak cocok diterapin di Indonesia yg budaya ngemplang-nya sadis! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marianne | 1/17/2012

    " I really liked this book and learned a lot. If we, in this country, could only capture what Yunus has done, people would be raised out of poverty. One striking thought is that we are not so different from people living in Bangladesh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shivani Desai | 12/20/2011

    " This book was really inspiring. Listening to how he started Grameen Bank was very captivating. It's mixed with some good facts but also has a good deal of personal thoughts that are good to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 X-tina | 10/18/2011

    " Excellent book...what pushed me into the direction of studying more economic development. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dominik | 7/14/2011

    " One of the best books I've read in a long time! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Max | 5/9/2011

    " Yunus won a Nobel Peace Prize for his creation of micro-finance. Read this book to find out how he did it. So impressive in so many ways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 4/15/2011

    " Excellent! Amazing how a simple idea (providing a helping hand to those who need it, based on their need) to help bring them out of poverty. Grameen Bank's beginnings. No wonder he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrissy | 4/14/2011

    " A truly inspiring man, so good to know more about his story and his work with Grameen Bank. Really enjoyable style, blending facts with stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 2/27/2011

    " While I'm a big fan of Yunus & the concept of microfinance, I found this book to be somewhat redundant in later chapters. Could have read the executive summary instead and still gotten all the key points. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 2/26/2011

    " Probably one of the few books I've read about economics that is interesting and enjoyable. Yunus tells his story and the rise of the Grameen Bank in a narrative that is refreshing from typical economic books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 2/15/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. I liked how it told the story of the beginnings of the Grameen Bank. It's a wonderful story of how opportunity, commitment, and passion intersected several times over Dr. Yunus' lifetime to allow his bank to continue to help those who need it most. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeana | 2/10/2011

    " Wonderful story. I love how Yunus tells the whole journey from nothing to a billion dollar institution. A fascinating story about attacking poverty with a creative strategy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendra | 2/4/2011

    " Just picked this up again to refresh myself on the topic of microlending - such an INCREDIBLE concept started by author Muhammad Yunus!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johny | 1/20/2011

    " A fascinating and inspiring tale of a man who took upon himself to change the world for the poorest on our planet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 1/3/2011

    " Great topic, hard to read. Hope the recent suicides don't end what is a great opportunity for so many. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 1/2/2011

    " Brings up some thought-worthy points about banking, economics, and the structure of institutions on which we rely. "

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About the Author
Author Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus, a native of Bangladesh, was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. In 1972 he became head of the economics department at Chittagong University. He is the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, a pioneer of microcredit, which an economic movement that has helped lift millions of families around the world out of poverty. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. He also received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2009 and was named one of Fortune's 12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time in 2012.

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered fourteen Earphones Awards, two Audie nominations, and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. He is a fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.