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A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman [Paperback]

Lisa J Shannon , Zainab Salbi
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2011
Lisa Shannon had what some would call a good life-her own business, a successful fiance, a secure home. Then one day in 2005, shortly after her father's death, an episode of Oprah changed everything. The show about women in the Congo depicted atrocities too horrible to comprehend: millions dead, women gang-raped and tortured, children starving and dying in shocking numbers. That day Lisa woke up to her dissatisfaction with the "good" life and to her role as an activist and a sister.

She created a foundation called Run for Congo Women, with the goal to raise money to sponsor 30 Congolese women. What started as a solo 30-mile run has now grown into a national organization in connection with Women for Women International. Run for Congo Women holds fundraising runs in four countries and ten states, and continues to raise money and awareness. In A Thousand Sisters, Lisa shares firsthand accounts of her experiences visiting the Congo, the women she's helped, and the relationships she's formed. With compelling stories of why she remains committed to this cause, Lisa inspires her audience to reach out and help as well, forming a sisterhood that transcends geographic boundaries.

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A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman + The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World + Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
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"I can't imagine a more perfect book for arousing the power of American women (or women and men everywhere) to rush to the defense of our Congolese sisters. Lisa Shannon, runner extraordinaire, has with this forthright and readable book, crossed the finish line into the way of life the remainder of our time on this planet demands: she has entered the land of courage, compassion, and a fierce determination to stand by those who need us, where everyone understands they must be--our lives depend on it--a citizen of the world. -Alice Walker "While reporting for the Oprah Show , I called the Democratic Republic of the Congo the 'worst place on earth.' When Lisa Shannon saw my report, rather than turn her back, she took it on. Her commitment to the victims of one of the world's greatest tragedies exemplifies the best in humanity. Her powerful story is an inspiration to all of those who think their voice is too small to change lives." -Lisa Ling, journalist "Congo is usually portrayed as hopeless and its women as victims. Lisa Shannon shines a spotlight on the hope that emanates so stubbornly from this complex country, primarily through her loving portrayal of her Congolese sisters. Instead of victims, these women are determined survivors, three-dimensional human beings who deserve our respect and solidarity." -John Prendergast, co-founder of The Enough Project, and co-author of Not On Our Watch with Don Cheadle "As global consumers we all share some responsibility for the tragedy in the Congo. Lisa Shannon's riveting, personal narrative lays bare the human cost of that relationship, through a personal journey like no other into the heart of the Congo." -Robin Wright, actress and activist "I wish that every woman and man in America were as stirred to outrage and action as Lisa Shannon by what is happening in today's Congo. In her heartfelt and very personal way, she shines some light on a place of great suffering that the world has too long ignored." -Adam Hochschild, author, iKing Leopold's Ghost and iBury the Chains --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Modern day colonialism June 22 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book did not live up to expectations given the rave reviews by others. If you want to know about what is really happening to women in Congo, look elsewhere. If you'd like a story about an American women running around asking strangers to describe their rapes and retraumatizing victims while giving her opinion on everything from the weather to how great she thinks she is, well this is your book. Think Bridget Jones meets Dr.Livingston. While I understand what she is trying to do, the author misses her chance to do something great with this book. I finished reading it, but only after reminding myself over and over that I can't review books until I've read every page. Skip this book and donate your money to a worthwhile cause serving the women in Congo instead.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Courageous Memoir! Jan. 20 2011
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
It is said that the "worst place on earth to be a woman" is in the Congo and after reading A Thousand Sisters you'll have a complete understanding of why.

The degrading, humiliating, shocking and tortuous rapes the women of Congo are forced to suffer through is utterly devastating. These women are often left with a life-long issue of leaking urine or feces from being raped with anything from a broken bottle to a piece of wood to the rifle end of a gun.

A lot of these woman end up pregnant and/or with HIV. Can you imagine for one moment being forced to love and raise a child born under these conditions? Yes, the child itself is the innocent party and didn't ask to be born and deserves the same chance at life and love as anyone else, but oh what a horrendous reminder for the mother.

Lisa Shannon saw a short piece on the Oprah show about these women and was incensed and propelled into action. She felt she just HAD to do something to help these women. She raised money to sponsor Congolese Women beginning with ONE SOLO 30-Mile Run, and then went on to found a national organization called: "Run for Congo Women". This book chronicles her journey to the Congo to meet the very women her run sponsored. The stories the women of the Congo share with her are nothing short of horrific.

Lisa Shannon is one brave woman who had the courage to reach out and help a society of women that no one else knew about or didn't want to help. I applaud you Ms. Shannon for what you have done and are continuing to do.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Victims of a Never-ending War May 17 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A well-written book on the perils of being a woman in the Congo where the undisciplined soldiers of warring factions have made life for women extremely dangerous. While I did not always agree with what the author did while in Africa, I do applaud her efforts to make life easier for these beleaguered women. It's more than most of us have done.
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