Wolfensohn Autobiography Captures visionary financier and humanitarian who led the World Bank in the struggle against global poverty

As president of the World Bank for a decade, James Wolfensohn tackled world poverty with a passion and energy that made him a uniquely important figure in a fundamental arena of change. Using a lifetime of experience in the banking sector, he carved a distinct path in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe for the institution that serves as the major lender to the world's poor.

In A Global Life, Wolfensohn, a Carnegie Corporation of New York trustee, tells his astonishing life story in his own words. A man of surpassing imagination and drive, he became an Olympic fencer and a prominent banker in London and New York. An Australian, he navigated Wall Street with uncommon skill. Chairman of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for many years, he is also an amateur cellist. But it was his tenure at the World Bank that made him an international force. While at the helm of this controversial institution, Wolfensohn motivated, schemed, charmed, and bullied all the constituencies at his command to broaden the distribution of the world's wealth. Now he bluntly assesses his successes and failures, reflecting on the causes of continuing poverty.

“This is an absorbing memoir written by an extraordinary man who has lived through extraordinary times,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation.  “The arc of James Wolfensohn’s career has spanned the globe, from Australia to England to the U.S., building the Global Life he writes of in these pages with great eloquence and honesty. Wolfensohn’s utter commitment to living a life of dignity and to promoting equity and social justice resonate through every page of this volume. It is a must-read.” 

Watch recent News Hour interview with James Wolfensohn.