Excerpt from Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Banker to the Poor

Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

by Muhammad Yunus

Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 1999, 258 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2003, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I became interested in painting and drawing and apprenticed with a commercial artist, whom I called Ustad, or “Guru.” At home I arranged my easel, canvas, and pastels so that I could hide them from Father at a moment’s notice. As a devout Muslim, Father did not believe in reproducing the human figure. Some art-loving uncles and aunts in the family became my coconspirators, helping and encouraging me.

As a by-product of these hobbies, Salam and I developed an interest in graphics and design. We also started a stamp collection and convinced a neighboring shopkeeper to display our stamp box in the front of his shop. With two uncles we frequented theaters to see Hindi and Hollywood films and to sing the romantic folk songs that were popular at that time.

Chittagong Collegiate School was much more cosmopolitan than my primary school had been. My classmates were mostly sons of government officials on transfer from various districts and the school offered one of the best educations in the country. But its particular attraction for me was the Boy Scout program. The scout den became my hangout. Along with boys from other schools, I engaged in drills, games, artistic pursuits, discussions, hikes in the countryside, variety shows, and rallies. During “earnings week” we would raise money by hawking goods, polishing boots, and working as tea stall boys. Aside from the fun, scouting taught me to be compassionate, to develop an inner spirituality, and to cherish my fellow human beings.

I particularly recall a train trip across India to the First Pakistan National Boy Scout Jamboree in 1953. Along the way, we stopped and visited various historical sites. Most of the time, we sang and played, but standing in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, I caught our assistant headmaster, Quazi Sirajul Huq, weeping silently. His tears were not for the monument or for the famous lovers who are buried there or for the poetry etched on the white marble walls. Quazi Sahib said he cried for our destiny and for the burden of history that we were carrying. Though I was only thirteen, I was struck by his passionate explanation. With his encouragement, scouting began to infiltrate all my other activities. I had always been a natural leader, but Quazi Sahib’s moral influence taught me to think high and to channel my passions.

In 1973, in the chaotic months following the Bangladesh War of Liberation, I visited Quazi Sahib with my father and brother Ibrahim. We drank tea and discussed the political turmoil around us. A month later, Quazi Sahib, then a frail old man, was brutally murdered in his sleep by his servant, who robbed him of a small sum of money. The police never caught the murderer. I was devastated. In retrospect, I came to understand his tears at the Taj Mahal as prophetic of both his own suffering and the suffering in store for the Bengali people.

Excerpted from Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus Copyright © 1998 by Muhammad Yunus. Excerpted by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...
  • Book Jacket: Dadland
    Dadland
    by Keggie Carew
    In her notable debut, Keggie Carew examines the life of her father Tom, a decorated war hero whose ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Everywhere I go, I am asked if I think the university stifles writers...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -