Hope Over Fate: Fazle Hasan Abed and the Science of Ending Global Poverty by Scott MacMillan
Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times called him “one of the unsung heroes of modern times.” Fazle Hasan Abed was a mild-mannered accountant who may be the most influential man most people have never even heard of. As the founder of BRAC, his work had a profound impact on the lives of millions. A former finance executive with almost no experience in relief aid, he founded BRAC in 1972, aiming to help a few thousand war refugees. A half century later, BRAC is by many measures the largest nongovernmental organization in the world—and by many accounts, the most effective anti-poverty program ever.
Hope Over Fate is the biography of Fazle Hasan Abed, but it’s also the biography of an idea—the idea that hope itself has the power to overcome poverty. “For too long, people thought poverty was something ordained by a higher power, as immutable as the sun and the moon,” Abed wrote in 2018. His life’s mission was to put that myth to rest. This is the story of a man who lived a life of complexity, blemishes and all, driven by the conviction that in the dominion of human lives, hope will ultimately triumph over fate.
Upcoming book tour events
December 1 | Ridgefield, CT
In the news
In an op-ed for Inter Press Service, Hope Over Fate author Scott MacMillan shares his perspective from several years working closely with Fazle Hasan Abed as his speechwriter and later authoring his biography based on hundreds of hours of interviews.
Can hope help break the cycle of poverty?
Fireside chat with Hope Over Fate author Scott MacMillan
Scott sits down with Sharad Aggarwal, Senior Vice President of BRAC USA, to discuss the incredible life of Sir Fazle, his contributions that extend from Bangladesh to the world, and what his legacy means as we continue to work toward poverty eradication.
For too long, people thought poverty was something ordained by a higher power, as immutable as the sun and the moon. This is a myth. We would do well to start paying attention to the evidence, which says that giving people hope and self-esteem may be the greatest investment in human capital that any country can make.”
Articles & Reviews: Hope Over Fate
- Publisher’s Weekly: Publisher’s Weekly Review of Hope over Fate: Fazle
- Hasan Abed and the Science of Ending Global Poverty
- Brookings: Fighting poverty with hope: Lessons from the life of Fazle Hasan Abed. See also: remarks from Alexia Latortue and others in the Brookings virtual panel discussion on Keeping the ‘Leave No One Behind’ agenda alive
- Next Billion: Accomplishing the Impossible: Lessons on Scaling From BRAC Founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed – Next Billion
- Asia Foundation: Podcast – Hope over Fate: the Story of BRAC
- Harvard Mittal South Asia Institute: Author Scott MacMillan Shares New Book on Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s Legacy
- IPS: Introducing Hope Over Fate: the Story of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and BRAC
- Asian American: The Ken Fong Podcast: Scott MacMillan on Sir Fazle Hasan Abed
- Deborah Kalb: Book Q&A with Deborah Kalb