"The Moment of Lift" by Melinda Gates

Brian Gongol

For a book written by one of the world's wealthiest people about one of humanity's most vexing issues, "The Moment of Lift" is laudably down-to-earth and self-aware. Melinda Gates shares a long list of moments of realization or discovery, mostly from experiences as a significant donor to causes related to human development, but virtually all of which revealed ways in which attending to the status of women and girls plays a fundamental (if under-appreciated) role. Gates repeatedly acknowledges where she was wrong about assumptions or unintentionally ignorant about causes and effects, and those acknowledgments underscore the importance of humility in all of us. She openly embraces religious faith and openly discusses her struggles with the part religion too often plays in making development harder -- and in many other ways, she manages to highlight conflicts in thinking that stand in the way of addressing the root causes of important problems. While the subject matter is often serious, the writing is lucid and easy to digest.

Verdict: A vital topic explored with humility