In Dance Lest We All Fall Down an anthropologist named Margaret from Seattle spends time in a shantytown in Brazil. She becomes friends with Rita who is her colleague and sidekick. They work on building a non profit school in the shantytown for women. The gripping part of the story is what happens to them as they live there, and how they handle living among the flavelas. Margaret uses a form of afro-brazilian self defense to get herself out of sticky situations in dark allies late at night. The big picture of the book is education for the underprivileged. Education is the key to all and any kind of success whether its economically, personal finance, politically, or in business. When you educate the poor, you can teach them how to improve and get out of their situations. Education is an investment which is why we don’t see as much money spent on it in nations annual budgets. There are more immediate things that need money and people don’t want to see their tax dollars spent on investing and hoping our young delinquents are doing something at school and could change maybe solve our personal problems one day. There is no evidence correlating the amount of money spent per pupil, to an increase in academic success, also. Education is the best shot at solving any future problems. The more people that are educated at a high level, the greater chance we have for ideas. Otherwise we end up with elected leaders voting on how to solve our problems with multibillion dollar negotiations that could have maybe been solved in the first place by an entrepreneur coming out of college. Now obviously that example involves a high level of education and sophistication, but it all starts at the smallest level. You can’t just drop Harvard in the middle of the slums and think you have a great education system. It starts with the small school that people put their time and effort into that we read about here. Then over time it’ll grow to two or three, maybe a little bit of government assistance, and now people in the area at least have the opportunity. It would be an extremely long process to bring a poor country to a very high level of academia, but the best thing is to just start the grass roots foundations and let it naturally grow from there, because it will. The key factor to improving education is paying teachers more, making it a more desirable position for someone who would otherwise enter the corporate world.