The Givers

By David Callahan,

Book cover of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

Book description

An inside look at the secretive world of elite philanthropists—and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad.

While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Charles Koch, thousands of donors are at work below the radar…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Givers as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

In The Givers David Callahan asks questions – and answers them – about the power philanthropists possess to influence public policy in America. 

He wonders how much influence donors have and what their goals are. He says that some of us are happy about the causes the wealthy promote, but are terrified about others. 

As well, he contends, the process is undemocratic. Philanthropy, he says, is a strong power center in its own right, and “is set to surpass government to shape society’s agenda.” He points out that private donors, who are accountable to no one, have more influence than…

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