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The Light of Conscience: How a Simple Act Can Change Your Life Paperback – August 9, 2005


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The Light of Conscience: How a Simple Act Can Change Your Life + Building Bridges: The Allyn & Bacon Student Guide to Service-Learning
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (August 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812973631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812973631
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,697,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Shore, director of the antipoverty organization Share Our Strength and philanthropic consultant, has previously written about social entrepreneurs who introduce capital-generating techniques to the nonprofit sector (The Cathedral Within). Here he offers a variant on the concept in the form of moral entrepreneurs, people who "do what it takes to bring morality to places where it hasn't been before." Offering several prominent examples, he observes that such people often do the most through the simplest of actions, like the gesture of friendship Pee Wee Reese offered Jackie Robinson in front of racist baseball fans and teammates. Each of us is likewise capable of following our conscience, he claims, using his son to demonstrate the principle. After a strong early emphasis on the boy's flair for "obfuscation and deception," a proud father recounts his son's attendance at a rally shortly after 9/11. That tragedy underscores Shore's belief that we can no longer afford to focus solely on our immediate surroundings, but must strive to raise the quality of life throughout the world; injustice allowed to fester elsewhere, he warns, will eventually play out to our own detriment. Readers will likely perceive an intuitive validity to his suggestion that the major news coverage of recent scandals involving corporate fraud and sexual abuse by priests is "directly related" to 9/11, because our reaction immediately after "spawned a new premium on conscientious and ethical conduct." The theory might not hold up to scrutiny, but this and other doubts about the book's grasp on the big picture are abated by Shore's sincere passion and attention to the small details that make life worth living.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

From its title, readers might expect this to be one of those you-can-do-it books full of inspirational blithering. Thankfully, it is not. It is an enlightening, thought-provoking, entertaining book with the simplest of premises: when confronted with a choice, we should always choose the right thing. The book is a collection of anecdotes and profiles illustrating the benefits of making the right choice--performing an act of conscience, to use the author's terminology. Shore, founder of Share our Strength (which raises money to fight hunger and poverty), writes about men and women in positions of responsibility who, faced with a tough decision, found the right thing to do, not just the easiest thing; in the details of his examples, the depth of his seemingly simple premise emerges. Unlike the slick preachings of various high-profile warriors for morality, Shore's writing is straightforward, unpretentious, and nonjudgmental. The book's opening section, in which the author relates stories about his own children's battles with their consciences, is by far the highlight, but the whole book is surprisingly perceptive. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Bill Shore is the founder and executive director of Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit that is ending childhood hunger in America. Shore is also the chairman of Community Wealth Ventures®, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Share Our Strength that offers strategy and implementation services to foundations and nonprofit organizations, partnering with them to design and implement innovative approaches to growth and sustainability to promote social change.

Shore founded Share Our Strength in 1984 in response to the Ethiopian famine and subsequently renewed concern about hunger in the United States. From 1978 through 1987, Shore served on the senatorial and presidential campaign staffs of former U.S. Senator Gary Hart (D-Colorado). From 1988 to 1991, Shore served as chief of staff for former U.S. Senator Robert Kerrey (D-Nebraska). His transition from politics to innovative community service and his prescription for community change are documented in his first book, Revolution of the Heart (Riverhead Press, 1995). Shore's second book, The Cathedral Within (Random House, 1999), profiles a new breed of community leaders who are tapping every sector of society to improve community life. Shore's most recent book is The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men, published in November, 2010 by PublicAffairs.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Shore earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He currently serves on the board of directors of The Timberland Company and Venture Philanthropy Partners and was named one of America's Best Leaders (October 2005) by "US News & World Report."

Shore has been an adjunct professor at New York University's Stern School of Business and is currently an advisor for the Reynolds Foundation Fellowship program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bill Shore uses stories from his life, as well as from the famous and not so famous, as a backdrop to his message. A childless cleaning woman from Mississippi works her entire life and saves $150k which she donates to the University of Southern Mississippi so someone like her has the chance to go to college. This huge act on her part inspires those who have significantly more to act. The simple actions of Rosa Parks in refusing to move from her seat on the bus and Pee Wee Reese in publicly putting a hand of support on Jackie Robinson's shoulder had large impacts on the world. Shore weaves his message about the value of trying to line up our actions with our beliefs amidst this backdrop of stories that show how fallible we all can be. Highly recommended. Not an academic tome, but a pleasurable read.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Rose VINE VOICE on April 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The brilliant words of Bill Shore will have a far greater rippling effect among humanity for all who heed his profound insight, sharing and understanding that one single brave, caring, generous, and heartfelt act can bring.
This epic book is a beacon for the simple yet profound acts of generosity and courage no matter how large or small, and how they can change the course of humanity forever.
One of my favorite examples was the brave woman Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat during the segregated times of the 1960's, and how that one act was the catalyst for equality for people of all color and creed in the USA.
One donation can help someone become a doctor who winds up saving YOUR life. `The Light of Conscious' should be required reading in all schools, in all lands, to teach by the examples Bill Shore provided how one simple act CAN make a difference for our entire world. An absolute MUST Read. Profound!
Barbara Rose, author of "Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE" and 'If God Was Like Man'
Editor of inspire! magazine
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