Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

The Moment of Lift: Book summary and reviews of The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

The Moment of Lift

How Empowering Women Changes the World

by Melinda Gates

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates X
The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings―and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she's learned from the inspiring people she's met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, "That is why I had to write this book―to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live."

Melinda's unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention―from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world―and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. In the Introduction, Melinda explains what the title of the book means to her, with a vivid description of watching Apollo launches as a child. How has she maintained that sense of wonder and curiosity in her work as a philanthropist? Can you recall any moments in your own life that elicited a similar feeling of being lifted, as Mark Nepo writes, "like a scarf on the wind" (2)?
  2. Melinda explains that she has shared these women's (and men's) stories as a way to inspire us to lift each other up. In your experience, how does lift happen? Are there individuals in your life whom you feel you've helped to lift, in a big or small way? Who has helped lift you?
  3. Each chapter of the book focuses on a central issue of gender equality, and yet taken as...

You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!

Some of the recent comments posted about The Moment of Lift:

"To be known without being loved is terrifying. To be loved without being known has no power to change us. But to be known and deeply loved transforms us." Where do you see yourself on this spectrum?
I have been both know and family believed in me and I have become a very self actualized person because of it. - swchis39

After finishing the book, has your understanding of what it means to empower women changed, in terms of concept and execution?
Yes, it definitely has. As others have said, empowerment has many different faces and getting to know the women she was working with seemed to help Melinda be more effective in giving them what they needed. - PinkLady

Can you think of a barrier that women face in your community that keeps women or their children from education, income, or economic opportunities?
Suburban Iowa may seem idyllic, but who knows one's neighbor? Without knowing neighbors, even women who work outside the home are limited - they don't know their children's friends and may not really know their teachers; they don't know the people ... - carolt

Did you have a teacher who helped change your self-image? How did he or she do it? What effect did it have on you?
Not my self image but a teacher who loved history so much and was so enthusiastic about it that she gave me the same love of history and I am in charge of a history book club to this day. - lesleyf

Do you agree with Gates' definition of feminism? How would you modify it to fit your own views? Do you consider yourself a feminist?
I like Gates’ definition of feminism and have identified with it (unknowingly) for decades. Like many of the participants in this discussion, I am in my 60s, however unlike some I have always identified myself as a feminist. Perhaps it was growing up... - janicea

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!


Media Reviews

"Part memoir, part call to action, Gates's compassionate narrative underscores her determination to leave a positive mark on this world. She inspires and emboldens in this eloquently argued work." - Publishers Weekly

"What distinguishes this book from so many other depictions of women's struggles around the globe is the author's ability to connect Meena and Selam with women in white-collar workplaces in the U.S....Affecting and inspiring." - Kirkus Reviews

"The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what's possible in the world. Melinda weaves together vulnerable, brave storytelling and compelling data to make this one of those rare books that you carry in your heart and mind long after the last page." - Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Dare to Lead

"Melinda Gates has spent many years working with women around the world. This book is an urgent manifesto for an equal society where women are valued and recognized in all spheres of life. Most of all, it is a call for unity, inclusion and connection. We need this message more than ever." - Malala Yousafzai

"This book is a beautiful and concise mission statement on what we need to do to move society forward--continue to empower women. At every level and in all places women are truly the bedrock supporting their communities." - Trevor Noah

"Melinda Gates uplifts and inspires by weaving a narrative of fortitude and hope. She pushes us to challenge the status quo and never settle." - Mellody Hobson

"The Moment of Lift is a book about gender equity and its golden thread is empathy. This book lifts up the voices of women and girls whose experiences have been entirely unlike Melinda's own. They've taught her a great deal, and in this beautifully crafted and artful memoir, Melinda Gates invites the reader to learn from them too." - Paul Farmer, M.D., co-founder of Partners In Health

"Melinda Gates's book is a lesson in listening. A powerful, poignant, and ultimately humble call to arms." - Tara Westover, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Educated

This information about The Moment of Lift was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own reviewwrite your own review


The Moment of Lift
I am always impressed by the opinions and writings of the Gates family. I read them slowly because it's not like reading fiction. But I go back and reread much of it.

Sue Ann Painter

Inspiring read
Melinda and Bill Gates offer a model for those fortunate enough to possess great wealth, keen intelligence, and the desire and focus required to make the world a significantly better place. I especially admire their work in bringing health care solutions to women in disadvantaged societies.
Mrs. Gates is an excellent author who makes her points with vivid descriptions of the hardships the poor face in connecting to medical resources that are often hours and miles from their residence. Her account of the “moment of lift” in her title is based upon her childhood memories of growing up in a U.S. space exploration family. Hers is a remarkable “American Dream” come true story, and Melinda is a 21st C. hero. Loved the book.


Interesting, but..
While I know it takes women of privilege to publicize and fund the necessary change in the world - and Melinda Gates does great good in the world and writes a compelling story of "lift" - and admits she is exceptionally privileged - I couldn't seem to forget privilege as I read this. Never the less, I recommend The Moment of Lift as an eye-opening visit to another world.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Information

Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world, Melinda Gates has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Core to her work is empowering women and girls to help them realize their full potential. In 2015, Melinda created Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company that enables her to bring together other new and emerging strands of her advocacy and philanthropic work focused in the US. Melinda received a bachelor's degree from Duke and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School. After joining Microsoft Corp. in 1987, she helped develop many of the company's multimedia products. In 1996, Melinda left Microsoft to focus on her philanthropic work and family.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more history, current affairs and religion...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Under This Red Rock
    Under This Red Rock
    by Mindy McGinnis
    Since she was a child, Neely has suffered from auditory hallucinations, hearing voices that demand ...
  • Book Jacket: Clear
    by Carys Davies
    John Ferguson is a principled man. But when, in 1843, those principles drive him to break from the ...
  • Book Jacket: Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Only the Beautiful
by Susan Meissner
A heartrending story about a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the terrible injustice that tears them apart.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Flower Sisters
    by Michelle Collins Anderson

    From the new Fannie Flagg of the Ozarks, a richly-woven story of family, forgiveness, and reinvention.

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.



Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.