Nick Kristof Wants You To Change The World

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Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world.  He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP)
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP)

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof hits the road, hits the world – Kenya, Bangladesh, Ferguson – then hits our buttons.  What whites don’t get about race, he writes.  What ISIS can teach us, he writes.  And lately, above all, how we could – individually and collectively - change the world for the better.  With story after story on people who just dive in and do it.  Don’t throw up your hands, he writes.  Use them.  Change a life.  Change ten.  Change your own.  And pretty soon, despair is cut down to size.  And you feel great.  This hour On Point:  Nick Kristof says let’s do it.  Let’s change the world.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times. Co-author, with Sheryl WuDunn, of the new book "A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity." ALso co-author of "Half the Sky," "Thunder from the East" and "China Wakes." (@NickKristof)

From Tom's Reading List

New York Times: 'A Path Appears' — "Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn show you, through many amazing vignettes matched with serious evidence, that you can make a difference to the lives of people trapped in misery. Those lives may be very different from yours, but the people leading them feel much the way you would if you were in their position. With a little effort you can help them enormously, but why should you bother? In “A Path Appears,” Kristof, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, and WuDunn, his wife and a former business editor at The Times, try to answer that question — and for much of the book they presume you are a calculating egoist."

Boston Globe: 'A Path Appears' --"Structurally, the book’s approach is the equivalent of a great passing team in football opening a game plan not by throwing, but by pounding it out off-tackle four, five, even six plays in a row, setting up the space and opportunity to later unleash its strength. This gambit almost gets tedious, and it’s not until later that you begin to suspect that this was the point, the desired outcome: to bludgeon the reader into perceiving that what might previously have seemed exceptional could come to be seen as regular, if not quite yet a social norm."

Christian Science Monitor: 'A Path Appears' considers how and why we give — "'A Path Appears' does replicate some of Kristof’s troubling formulas. By his own admission, his columns rely on 'bridge characters' – Americans, usually white, on a heroic mission abroad – to appeal to readers who might otherwise skip his column.  He writes about girls’ suffering more often than that of boys for the same reason."

Read An Excerpt Of "A Path Appears" By Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Remembering Ben Bradlee, 1921 — 2014

David Folkenflik, NPR News media correspondent. (@davidfolkenflik)

NPR News: Ben Bradlee, Who Led 'Washington Post' To New Heights, Dies At 93 — "Through his tenure at the Post, the legendary newspaper editor helped to define the standards and aspirations of American journalism for more than a generation. He oversaw an expansion of the kinds of coverage his newspaper offered readers that influenced editors at papers across the country. Internally, Bradlee was best known as a champion of ambitious reporters and stylish writers, goading them to new heights."

This program aired on October 22, 2014.


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