The Greater Good by Claire Gaudiani
How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism

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A persuasive re-examination of American prosperity and the generosity that has built our nation

For over a century, the United States has stood as a beacon of prosperity and democracy, proof that big business and big dreams could flourish side by side. Yet few Americans realize the crucial role that generosity plays in keeping that fragile balance. And now, with gated communities, oppressive personal debts, shrinking government, and tax and welfare reform crusades, that essential moral glue is at risk of melting away.

A leading voice for community development, former Connecticut College president and scholar Claire Gaudiani explores all these issues as she examines American prosperity from the Constitution to the New Economy bust. She traces the push and pull of the robber barons and the progressive movement, the New Deal and the postwar boom, and the Me Decade and the technology revolution, finding that altruism powerfully invests in people, property, and ingenuity. Rather than pitting the capitalists against the populists, Gaudiani brings both sides to the table to reseal this fundamental social contract and provide a blueprint for a just future.

The Greater Good is a passionate, pragmatic, and, finally, optimistic manifesto for revitalizing the promise of the American economy.


About Claire Gaudiani

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A senior research scholar at Yale Law School, Claire Gaudiani served as president of Connecticut College from 1988 until 2001 and continues to serve as volunteer president of the New London Development Corporation. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
Published May 7, 2013 by Times Books. 304 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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She mostly chooses her historical examples well, as in sections on Chicago's vibrant (and lucrative) museum culture and the origins of the March of Dimes, but does stumble occasionally: as evidence of our generosity, an early chapter observes that 89% of Americans made charitable donations in 200...

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