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Practical Idealists

Practical Idealists

Changing the World and Getting Paid

Alissa S. Wilson, Ann Barham, John Hammock

ISBN 9780674032071

Publication date: 11/30/2008

Can you work for a better world without taking a vow of poverty? The authors’ answer is a resounding, “Yes!” This book draws on interviews with over forty practical idealists whose stories will inspire the reader and provide tools for making the choices necessary to succeed as a practical idealist. Through examples and exercises, Practical Idealists: Changing the World and Getting Paid explores how to clarify your values and passions, gain relevant skills, find work, use college and graduate school effectively, manage finances, and build a community of support. Practical idealists understand that personal change and social change are connected. They know that choices matter. This book will help you make the choices that matter and live your life as a practical idealist.


  • Alissa Wilson is the Public Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Africa at the American Friends Service Committee.
  • Ann Barham is an independent scholar living in Cambridge.
  • John Hammock is the Managing Director of the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard University. He is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the North American Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. He is past Executive Director of Oxfam America and ACCION International.

Book Details

  • 228 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Global Equity Initiative, Harvard University