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"Thought-provoking... a good primer on the C.S.R. phenomenon... effortlessly gulped during a long airplane flight. The writing is clear and concise, and if the book doesn’t leave one convinced that every multinational has suddenly developed a guiding conscience, it does offer some encouragement that many are on the way." -- The New York Times

"Yet for all the evident interest in CSR, especially among MBA students, remarkably few accounts cover the experiences of those who work that field. The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist, by Christine Bader, is a brief, well-written book that fills this important gap... The challenge for corporate idealists is to continue pushing for greater achievement without letting the limitations discourage them. This engaging book offers useful if sobering lessons on how to meet that challenge." -- Stanford Social Innovation Review

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"The book is a thoughtful memoir of her experiences and a nuanced guidebook with many lessons for aspiring corporate idealists." -- strategy+business

"Written by a long-term employee of BP, this critical account of life within one of the world’s largest oil companies offers a rare and captivating read. Bader pulls no punches, describing the struggles, frustrations and occasional successes of being a 'corporate idealist' within a big business." -- Ethical Corporation

"Christine Bader shows she has a huge heart and a talented mind. We’re lucky she’s around to show us how to do it with drive, commitment, talent and brains. A great book." -- CSRWire

"First-time author Christine Bader has crafted a narrative that is equal parts inspiring and, at times, infuriating while remaining enthralling throughout." -- Ensia

"This is the story of a Yale graduate who went to work inside big business and became one of the few idealists striving to elevate standards and conduct. A rare, short narrative that illuminates why some idealists become great, courageous whistleblowers." -- Ralph Nader

"[The book] opens a window into the machinations of corporate sustainability practitioners in the trenches, how their day-to-day efforts eke out marginal gains with silent success, and it directs readers to ponder the harmful price should corporations deprioritise sustainability and humanitarian issues... The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist succeeds as an insightful book of advocacy, with a message too important for business to ignore." -- BDLive (Business Day, South Africa's daily business newspaper)

"The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist by Christine Bader describes, with humour and verve, how a Yale MBA graduate spent nearly a decade with BP... Bader offers some practical tips for anyone who wants to be a pragmatic, corporate idealist or change-maker." -- David Grayson, Cranfield University

"[A] must-read for M.B.A. students with a twinge of desire to save the world. Executives who want to support corporate social responsibility ought to read it as well. It’s an insider’s view, without a public relations spin, on what it means to tread this narrow path." -- Korn Ferry Briefings

"The Evolution of A Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil offers a hopeful look into the future of corporate responsibility. It reminds us that corporations, widely understood to be part of the problem, are made up of people, many of whom work tirelessly to – incrementally - change how their companies operate from within." -- Business Fights Poverty blog

"This book should be read within companies, to better understand CSR and the valuable function it can play in achieving sustainable success; in academic institutions, particularly business schools, to help students understand that “how” one carries out business is as important as “what” goods or services one delivers; by NGOs who cannot believe that corporate executives can be motivated by anything other than high revenues and profits; and last but not least by Corporate Idealists who will find inspiration to go forward while gaining comfort that the challenges are many and the successes sometime less apparent." -- Oil, Gas, Energy Law Intelligence

"[Christine] doesn’t shy away from asking herself (and her readers) the tough questions. And she does her best to answer them. Her charm, wit, humility, honesty, tenacity and idealism, make this read unlike any other." -- Melissa Schweyer, CSRtist


Business must be part of the solution to the complex challenges facing our planet. This requires authentic and committed leaders at all levels within a company working together to help make this a reality. In The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, Christine Bader gives us a firsthand account of what it takes to get this right and provides some salutary lessons about what it means when companies get it wrong. -- Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

Companies increasingly recognize that they have a legitimate interest in respecting human rights. Christine Bader has been on the front lines of both setting and implementing human rights standards for business, and provides an engaging narrative of what it takes to ensure that human rights are a reality for all. -- Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 

With insight and humor, Christine Bader sheds light on the inner workings of multinational business. The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist is a must-read for all of us who care about ensuring that ethics and morality have their rightful place on the business agenda. -- William H. Donaldson, 27th chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; founding dean, Yale School of Management; former chairman and chief executive, New York Stock Exchange; co-founder, former chairman and CEO, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette

For all those who have seen what multinational corporations are doing and wondered, "What were they thinking?" -- read this book! Bader takes us deep inside big business, past the slick P.R. and newspaper headlines. Whether you resonate with the title "Corporate Idealist" or think it’s an oxymoron, this book is a fascinating read. Love Big Oil or hate it, you'll never look at it the same. -- Annie Leonard, Founder, The Story of Stuff Project

Christine Bader writes as she is: genuine, funny, compassionate, on a constant search for truth and impact. The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil is a unique and valuable contribution to one of the greatest challenges of the modern era: how to leverage the creativity and drive of business to achieve a just and sustainable world. -- Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) 

Too many companies -- and the investors and consumers that support them -- still take a short-term, narrow view that is threatening our planet; the 'sustainability' movement has often felt like one step forward, two steps back. In The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, Christine Bader gives us an insider's perspective on why that is the case. I relate to her struggle between optimism and pessimism, and suspect many others will too. -- Jeffrey Hollender, founder and former CEO, Seventh Generation

The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist is a deeply personal reflection on a vastly neglected subject: the hopes and successes, disappointments and disillusionments, of corporate social responsibility practitioners in global companies. Christine Bader recounts her own journey, starting with infatuation and fulfillment, to feeling jilted, experimenting with taming capitalism through the United Nations, and ending up back in the private sector, a bit bruised but considerably wiser. This makes for an eminently readable introduction to the bourgeoning field of corporate social responsibility. -- John G. Ruggie, Harvard University; former U.N. special representative for business & human rights

Girl meets Big Oil, Big Oil breaks girl's heart. So far, so predictable. But Christine Bader's extraordinary, warts-and-all memoir reveals what happens when idealism and business converge in both the heart and the mind. -- John Elkington, co-founder of Environmental Data Services (ENDS), SustainAbility and Volans; co-author, The Power of Unreasonable People.

Christine Bader's The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist paints a vivid picture of the changing world of business, the rise of sustainability as a value in many companies, and the author's own awakening to the complexity of corporate responsibility. Written as a lively and compelling narrative, the book goes beyond recounting Bader's ups and downs in a decade at BP to offer deep insight into the central importance of morality in any job, company, or life. -- Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor, Yale University; author, Green to Gold