The Givers by David Callahan
Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

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Mr. Callahan does an excellent job of examining what makes some philanthropies more effective than others, and his book makes for fascinating reading on the subject. But his “progressive” political bias tends to skew his bottom line conclusions.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

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 promoting a wide range of causes. David Callahan charts the rise of these new power players and the ways they are converting the fortunes of a second Gilded Age into influence. He shows how this elite works behind the scenes on education, the environment, science, LGBT rights, and many other issues--with deep impact on government policy. Above all, he shows that the influence of the Givers is only just beginning, as new waves of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg turn to philanthropy. Based on extensive research and interviews with countless donors and policy experts, this is not a brief for or against the Givers, but a fascinating investigation of a power shift in American society that has implications for us all.
 

About David Callahan

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David Callahan is cofounder and director of research at the public policy center Demos. The author of five books, he has also pub-lished articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post and is a frequent commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. He lives in New York City.
 
Published April 11, 2017 by Knopf. 352 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Givers
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on Feb 06 2017

An eye-opening view of a vast sector of the economy that lies in the shadows but has undue influence, for ill or good.

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Washington Times

Below average
Reviewed by Aram Bakshian Jr. on Jul 12 2017

Mr. Callahan does an excellent job of examining what makes some philanthropies more effective than others, and his book makes for fascinating reading on the subject. But his “progressive” political bias tends to skew his bottom line conclusions.

Read Full Review of The Givers: Wealth, Power, an... | See more reviews from Washington Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michelle Cottle on Apr 28 2017

Many readers no doubt will share Callahan’s views on the dark side of Big Philanthropy, and his ideas for addressing it. But even those who don’t should give “The Givers” a go.

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Robert G. Kaiser on Apr 17 2017

Analysis is not a strong suit, and his caution in judging the giant egos of the philanthropists he writes about can be frustrating. But Callahan has performed a public service by assembling a striking body of information on a fundamental aspect of 21st-century America...

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