A Beginner's Guide to Changing the World

A True Life Adventure Story

By Isabel Losada
(HarperOne, Hardcover, 9780060780104, 371pp.)

Publication Date: July 2005

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Description

Tired of half-hearted attempts to effect change in the world, Isabel Losada decides to walk the talk and embarks on a journey that takes her from protests in the streets of London to India and back again.

Sometimes you just have to do something, don't you? Sometimes an injustice comes along and you think, "No, this cannot be," and -- rather than just turn off the TV, or throw away the newspaper one more time -- you know it's time to act.

If you or I decide to take an action for a cause beyond ourselves, one in which we have no historical reason to become involved, will we be greeted with cynicism and become a laughingstock? Perhaps. But I enjoy making people laugh. So that's the first problem solved.

It doesn't matter what the injustice is that's got you hopping about. It could be the destruction of the rain forest, the war in the Middle East, or the drug addiction in your neighborhood -- it's all the same. It's making a difference I'm playing with here.

So begins Losada's fast-moving narrative, a tale of romance, history, travel, politics, Buddhism, human rights, lively interviews, and, above all, humor. From visits to Nepal and Tibet to meetings with the Chinese ambassador and Tibetan awareness-raising groups, Isabel single-handedly hatches a stunning PR coup involving Trafalgar Square, a sixty-foot banner, and a base-jumping parachutist launching from Nelson's Column who captures headlines worldwide ... then she meets the Dalai Lama. Warm and funny, moving and thought provoking, this astonishing book celebrates the fact that no matter what our passions are, we can make a difference.

Isabel's List of Ten Indispensable Things You Need to Change the World: A cupboard. To put your TV in.A crazy, wonderful, foolish plan.Selective deafness. (The complete inability to hear the word no.)A coffee addiction (impossible otherwise).Unconditional love for others -- 24/7.Deranged friends.An irrational desire to do mad things -- called fundraising (jump out of planes, etc.).A Web site that you made yourself and can maintain yourself. No, really An unbalanced sense of humor.Persistence. Joy. Persistence. Joy. Persistence. Joy. Persistence.

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