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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“William Kamkwamba’s achievements with wind energy should serve as a model of what one person, with an inspired idea, can do to tackle the crisis we face. His book tells a moving and exciting story.” (Al Gore, former Vice President and Nobel Laureate)

“This is an amazing, inspiring and heartwarming story! It’s about harnessing the power not just of the wind, but of imagination and ingenuity. Those are the most important forces we have for saving our planet. William Kamkwamba is a hero for our age.” (Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein and Benjamin Franklin)

“This book is inspirational. What William did took nothing more than initiative and a little learning, yet he changed his village and his life. There’s never been a better time to Do It Yourself, and I love how much we can learn from those who often have no other choice.” (Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired and author of Free and The Long Tail)

“This book is inspirational. What William did took nothing more than initiative and a little learning.... There’s never been a better time to Do It Yourself, and I love how much we can learn from those who often have no other choice.” (Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired and author of Free and The Long Tail)

“I first met William on stage at TED.... His story, told in just a couple of minutes, was both astonishing and exhilarating. This book proves what those few minutes hinted at: a remarkable individual capable of inspiring many to take their future into their own hands.” (Chris Anderson, TED Curator)

“This book.... is a testament to the power of a dream and the freedom that comes from accomplishing a sustainable way of life. Read this book, act on its message and pass it on.” (Carter Roberts, President & CEO, WWF)

“This exquisite tale strips life down to its barest essentials, and once there finds reason for hopes and dreams, and is especially resonant for Americans given the economy and increasingly heated debates over health care and energy policy.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“A powerful read. This book takes you on a journey to discover pure innovation and the unfolding story of a natural genius. A true vision of struggle and tenacity to make a bold idea become a reality. This should be required reading for anyone who dares to dream.” (Cameron Sinclair, Eternal Optimist, Architecture for Humanity)

“A moving, touching, important story. One more reminder of how small the world is and how powerful the human spirit can be.” (Seth Godin, author of Tribes)

“Wonderful! I challenge you to read this story of one young man changing his corner of the world with nothing but intelligence and perseverance and not come away more hopeful about the prospects for a brighter, greener future.” (Alex Steffen, editor, Worldchanging.com)

“Beyond opening the door to a nascent genre of African Innovation literature, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind makes excuses about why Africans can’t change their fates untenable. This potent, powerful, and uplifting message is the heart of William Kamkwamba’s courageous story.” (Emeka Okafor, internationally acclaimed author of blogs Timbuktu Chronicles and Africa Unchained)

“ In this book, the spirit, resilience and resourcefulness that are Africa’s greatest strengths shine through.... The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable story about a remarkable young man and his inquisitive and inventive mind.” (Amy Smith, founder, D-Lab, MIT)

“I loved this enchanting story of a humble young hero from an impoverished African village who accomplished a miracle with scrap materials and unstoppable enthusiasm. What an inspiration!” (Mark Frauenfelder, founder of boingboing.net, editor in chief of MAKE)

“I was moved first to laughter, and then to tears by William’s explanation of how he turned some PVC pipe, a broken bicycle and some long wooden poles into a machine capable of generating sufficient current to power lights and a radio in his parents’ house. (Ethan Zuckerman, cofounder, Global Voices)

“One of the best books I’ve ever read.” (Mark Frauenfelder, founder of boingboing.net, editor in chief of MAKE)

“A rare and inspiring story of hope in rural Africa....William represents a new generation of Africans, using ingenuity and invention to overcome life’s challenges. Where so many tilt at windmills, William builds them!” (Erik Hersman, AfriGadget.com)

“An inspiring tale of an African Cheetah--the new generation of young Africans who won’t sit and wait for corrupt and incompetent governments—or vampire states— to come and do things for them. Here is one who harnessed the wind to generate electricity for his village—on his own.” (Professor George Ayittey, Distinguished Economist, American University)

“William will challenge everything you have thought about Africa, about young people, and about the power of one person to transform a community. This beautifully written book will open your heart and mind. I was moved by William and his story and believe you all will. Essential, powerful and compelling.” (Chris Abani, author of Graceland)

“William Kamkwamba is an alchemist who turned misfortune into opportunity, opportunity beyond his own. The book is about learning by inventing. William’s genius was to be ingenious.” (Nicholas Negroponte, founder, MIT Media Lab, founder and chairman, One Laptop per Child)

“The book abounds with themes that resonate deeply: the idea that with hard work and persistence comes triumph; that optimism is not a mental state but a type of action, that from grief and loss can come success.” (Nathaniel Whittemore, Change.org) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

When William Kamkwamba was just 14 years old his parents told him that he must leave school and come and work on the family farm as they could no longer afford to $80 a year tuition fees. This is the story of his refusal to give up on learning and reading. A story of passion, determination and remarkable achievements. Malawi is a country battling Aids, drought and famine, and in 2002, a season of floods, followed by the most severe famine in fifty years, brought it to its knees. Like the majority of the population, William's family were farmers. They were totally reliant of the maize crop. By the end of 2001, after many lean and difficult years, there was no more crop. They were running out of food - had nothing to sell - and had months until they would be able to harvest their crop again. Forced to leave school at 14 years old, with no hope of raising the funds to go again, William resorted to borrowing books from the small local library to continue his education. One day, browsing the titles, he picked up a book about energy, with a picture of a wind turbine on the front cover. Fascinated by science and electricity, but knowing little more about the technology, William decided to build his own. Ridiculed by those around him, and exhausted from his work in the fields every day, and using nothing more than bits of scrap metal, old bicycle parts and wood from the blue gum tree, he slowly built his very own windmill. This windmill has changed the world in which William and his family live. Only 2 per cent of Malawi has electricity; William's windmill now powers the lightbulbs and radio for his compound. He has since built more windmills for his school and his village. When news of William's invention spread, people from across the globe offered to help him. Soon he was re-enrolled in college and travelling to America to visit wind farms. This is his incredible story. William's dream is that other African's will learn to help themselves - one windmill and one light bu



Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 288 pages
  • Editeur : HarperTrue (4 mars 2010)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0007316194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007316199
  • Dimensions du produit: 19,6 x 12,7 x 2,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 80.801 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par karen p le 7 septembre 2010
Format: Broché
Livre formidable, très captivant. La description de la famine du pays n'est ni trop mélodramatique ni trop légère. Le meilleur que j'ai lu depuis des années et une vision du potentiel de l'Afrique qui casse tous les préjugés.
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Par Taminiau le 23 septembre 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
If there is one thing that you will remember is that "If you want to make it, all you have to do is try." I would really recommend this book.
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407 internautes sur 413 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Build a windmill, get invited to TED! 6 septembre 2009
Par Doctor.Generosity - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
This is the story of William Kamkwamba, a clever boy in Malawi, Africa who built his own windmill from found materials at age 14. Much of the energy of the book is that it is a very recent story, the main events taking place just in the last six years.

The story is in three parts. The first part tells of Willam's life growing up and that of his father, giving a fascinating glimpse of the village life of subsistence farmers whose culture has changed little in thousands of years. Daily existence includes very real fears of witchcraft, shamans for healing, and strong currents of superstition. Although written in clear, simple narrative (mostly by the co-author, Bryan Mealer, an AP reporter with extensive experience across Africa), it is by no means a child's bedtime story. Malawi, an interior country of 13 million, has minimal health care, primitive agriculture, and no free public high schools. Villagers can be killed by wild animals in the forest. In 2001 the maize crops failed, plunging the countryside into famine and near social collapse, and William loses friends to disease and starvation. The government comes off badly in this episode, incompetent, brutal against the local village chief who complains, and corrupt.

William is a bright boy eager for school, but his family cannot afford the fees. He is forced to drop out. In the second part of the story, doing the best he can in spite of this disappointment, William finds an elementary physics textbook in a local library and sees diagrams of windmills - he cannot even read the English text. From this bit of information, with impressive focus and persistence he manages to build his own version from scraps of wire, an old bicycle hub, and flattened PVC pipe for blades. He has zero resources - not even a soldering iron, which would be useless in any case since there is no electricity in his household. But he is a natural engineer, and even with no guidance or help, he succeeds in making an operating windmill which powers a few lightbulbs for home and village, charges cell phones, operates a water pump - all of which make a real difference in village life.

The third part of the book, just as remarkable as his technological triumph, is about William's discovery by the outside world. The hero of the discovery phase is really the Internet. William's windmill comes to the attention of an engineer working in the capital city, who blogs about it, inspiring others to take a four hour bus journey to find William, who then quickly comes to the attention of international entrepreneurs and technologists. His life quickly expands - amazingly, straight from his village he is invited to speak at an African conference organized by TED, the California organization which publicizes emerging ideas about technology and design. Taken under wing by US sponsors, he travels internationally and finds scholarships for his own education as well as funding for his village technology. He now has a website of course (just Google his name), a PayPal donation account, and a promotional video here on Amazon - more international attention within a short time than the coolest MIT Media Lab guru!

There are a few technical errors in the text - malaria is not a virus for example, and the core of a transformer is a ferromagnet, not a conductor. These are minor points; William is an appealing character and the story is inspiring. But there must be millions of Williams across the developing world. What the book really shows is that the best international assistance is in response to local energy rather than top-down through an ineffective government. The tools to find those kids and offer that help are now at hand. Whereas electric windmills are not new - everything William did has been known for a hundred years - instant cheap global communication is a revolutionary innovation which can help bring the best minds of Africa and many other places into the world community.
130 internautes sur 132 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An amazing story of determination and hope 11 septembre 2009
Par Rabbi Yonassan Gershom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
After barely surviving a famine in Malawi (sub-Saharan Africa), 14-year-old William Kamkwamba was determined to find a way to make life better for himself and his family. What if he could somehow bring electricity to his village, to pump water for crops in times of drought? Using diagrams in an old forgotten science book called "Using Energy" that he found in a grade school library, he cobbled together a contraption out of scraps and junk that worked to power a few light bulbs -- and changed the life of his village forever. His neighbors, steeped in superstition and with little or no knowledge of science, thought him crazy. But he had a gift for mechanical things, he understood the principles, and he knew he could do it. And he did. Eventually he got a second windmill going, powering a water pump from a deep well, which is now used by all the women in the village. Today every house there has a solar panel and a battery to store electricity, too.

But this is much more than a story about an African boy who built a working windmill. It's a monument to the human spirit. In fact, we don't even get to making the windmill itself until halfway through the book. In the first half, William tells us a lot about his life in Africa, the terrible famine that swept his land, how he and his family survived, and the clues along the way which eventually led to him making the windmill. Even as a little kid, he was taking apart radios to see how they worked -- with no books or training, just trial and error. Then he saw a bicycle light that ran from a mechanical dynamo -- the kind that generates electricity when you pedal. Experimenting with this, he figured out how to get it to power his radio when he turned the bike pedals. When he finally found a picture of a windmill in the "Using Energy" book, it all came together. "In my mind I saw the dynamo," he explains, "saw myself with my neighbor's bicycle those many nights ago, spinning the pedals so I could listen to the radio... The wind would spin the blades of the windmill, rotating the magnets in the dynamo, and then creating current. Attach a wire to the dynamo and you could power anything..." Sounds simple? In principle, yes -- but there is no local Radio Shack in a Malawi village for William to go get the parts. He must make do with what he can scrounge -- and that's the really amazing part of this story.

Step by step, Willam explains what he needed for the windmill, how he adapted things he found in the junkyard, or took odd jobs to get money to buy what he could not make. Some simple tasks took three or four hours because he did not have the right tools and had to improvise. But he kept at it. All in all, he probably put a hundred or more hours into this project. Talk about determination! As I read the story, I could not help thinking how wasteful we are here in America. Over and over, I was astonished at William's creativity in finding uses for things I would have considered useless junk. That gave me serious pause for thought.

One more point: I finished this book the same week as President Obama's "stay in school" pep talk to students in America (Sept 8, 2009). Here in a land where every child can get a free education, we have a 30% dropout rate, even higher in some places. In Malawi where William is growing up, school is only for those who can afford to pay tuition, and he is desperate to study. Because of the famine, his family had lost everything and could no longer afford to send him to school, so he was forced to drop out. Yet he wanted to go so badly, he was sneaking INTO class. Eventually he does get a scholarship, thanks to the publicity generated by his windmill project. Had it not been for that, his genius might have gone to waste, and who knows what future inventions the world would miss? Perhaps this book should be required reading in American schools, so kids here will know just how lucky they are to have such good educational opportunities. I give William's book ten stars!
135 internautes sur 154 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Inspirational, definitely; drudgery at times 31 décembre 2009
Par M. Silverstein - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I didn't really know what to expect when I purchased this book for my Kindle, although I will admit that I noticed the high marks (5 stars) from the other reviewers. So I decided to give it a try and see what the hype was about.

For the first 10% of the book (Kindle doesn't have page numbers) I really was regretting the purchase. The pages were filled with stories of William (main character) as a young boy and the various predicaments he found himself in. The stories told of magic and witchcraft that caused all kinds of terrible things to happen and the overall direction of the book seemed to bounce back and forth from story or idea to another story or idea. I found myself thinking that these stories were so farfetched, how is the remainder of the book going to integrate these magical tales. At that point, I wasn't looking forward to reading more of the book. Nevertheless I persevered and was happily rewarded.

As William grows older (relatively speaking), the story - rather than witchcraft and magic - turns to real life events (famine and hardship) which actually brings you closer to William and his family. Not that many of us can relate to devastating famine where it wipes out entire populations, but it does help us understand what William had to deal with during such a trying time. Some touching moments are created in these pages and definitely rewards for turning the pages.

Once William begins his journey of harnessing the wind, for me, this was the most interesting part of the book. It truly was fascinating to me to not only learn how some of the things we take for granted (like electricity) can play such an integral role in communities that are essentially third world countries but also how one would go about constructing things with no money. The inspiration and true reward which William finally receives for his hard work does make you want to stand up and feel proud - it's definitely a feel good moment to say the least.

It was funny, as I was reading the first 10% of the book, I was going to give this review one star. Then as I continued to read on, I planned on raising it to two stars and when I finished, it was three stars. And while I agree that it could be given a true five star rating, portions of the book just seemed so distracting to me that it actually took away from the reading. Again, this is a truly inspirational story and that alone is a five star rating but fold in much of the remaining passages and it loses some of it's luster - hence the three stars.

Overall though, should you decide to pick up a copy, just know that if you're bored in the first pages, it will get better.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Inspirational story grabs you and takes you away 15 septembre 2009
Par M. Stewart - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
This autobiography of William Kamkwamba from Malawi, Africa tells about his journey from having little schooling and no resources to being able to build a windmill that generated electricity for his family, and eventually was able to power a water well for his village, improving their quality of life, and perhaps even saving lives. He details his father's conversion from a drinker and a fighter with quite a reputation, to becoming a Christian, and then setting a good example for his son. Along the way, we learn a little about the political and economic history of his country, and the basic problems that have led to frequent famines and food shortages. His determination to figure out how to build something that would generate electricity is fascinating. Hours and hours reading a few books from a library about electricity, tinkering around with transistor radios, eventually creating a little businees of repairing them, banging on junkyard parts for days to liberate a needed part, and ingenious makeshift tools makes this a fascinating and inspiring journey. Imagine using a nail driven through a corncob as a drill; and stamping a knife out of sheet metal and sharpening it by hand are a few samples of his resourcefulness.

I couldn't put this book down, it was so captivating. There are some heart-rending passages about the effects of famine; no longer is lack of food in Africa an abstract concept to me. Living for weeks, on one meal a day, consisting of a few mouth-fuls of cooked corn, and working in the fields for the next harvest, are detailed so well you can feel the strain. I would recommend this as a good book for mature teens to help them realize what can be accomplished when you have so little. There is some mention of superstitions and witch doctor magic, and some descriptions of violence, of people fighting to get food and seed from the government and others.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating picture of life in a modern 3rd-world country 11 septembre 2009
Par HeatherHH - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
This is the autobiography of William Kamkwamba, who grew up in rural Malawi, Africa, in poverty and famines, and who would eventually build a windmill to provide electricity for his family. I found this firsthand account of life in a third-world country fascinating, especially his account of living through a famine. And, this is really what the bulk of the book is about. He's over halfway through the book before his windmill even enters the picture, though you can see his fascination in similar things earlier on.

I would have appreciated this book even if it had a more standard ending, because the depiction of his life is enthralling, vivid, and hard to put down. The descriptions of famine, and shortages, and riots, and the desperation that starving people are driven to is riveting. But, his character is also fascinating in his desire to dream and to obtain a better future for his family. The building of his windmill is inspirational, persevering in the face of ridicule and making do with junkyard parts. I very much became interested in William and desired to see his success by the end of the story.

For those who are mechanically inclined, the details of how William improvised his windmill and other inventions will probably be fascinating. I am not so inclined, and cannot visualize things like that without a diagram, with was not included in the advance reader's edition, but I understand will be in the final version. So I just skimmed through some portions. But, these are only small portions of the book.

I would have enjoyed seeing a bit more shared about his family's faith. His parents are Presbyterians, and his father isn't caught up in the fear of magic and curses, unlike many around them. "Respect the wizards, my son, but always remember, with God on your side, they have no power." There's the passing reference to Canaan or Noah or some such thing that lets you know William is knowledgeable of at least some portions of the Bible, but I really think a good portion of his hope and reaching to the future was because of his religious background (superstition does cause some opposition against his windmill).

Overall, I would probably rate this book 5 stars, assuming the mechanical diagrams in the final edition are good, but even if not, I'd rate it a 4.5. This is a wonderful description of life in a poor African country, and a wonderful story of a boy striving for a future for his family. As he's currently in his early 20s, it will be interesting to see what he does in the future, and hopefully, he will be a further blessing to his countrymen. I will definitely read this book again in the future, and quite probably aloud to my children (currently 8 and under) a few years down the road. I highly recommend it.
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