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  • No Such Thing as a Free Gift

    July 2016

    Karen Hyman

    Is the Gates footprint too big?

  • A Watchdog with Only One Eye

    July 2016

    Scott Walter

    "The history she describes is not hidden, and the people she writes about are not radicals.” A review of author Jane Mayer’s book Dark Money: This very selective “exposé” distorts reality.

  • Are College Sports Out of Control?

    April 2016

    Leslie Lenkowsky

    Gilbert Gaul argues in his new book, Billion-Dollar Ball, that athletic programs at a number of major universities have become so lucrative that it should be questioned whether they deserve to be considered part of higher education and entitled to various benefits.

  • Redefining Usury

    April 2016

    John Steele Gordon

    How a self-interested banker helped millions of people prosper. In this book review we learn about Jacob Fugger, who lived from 1459 to 1525, and the ways he powerfully nudged the modern world into existence.

  • Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern

    April 2016

    Jen Para

    The poor Guggenheim. 

  • Shakespeare’s Savior

    January 2016

    Algis Valiunas

    Henry Folger made it his life’s work to gather up scattered British treasure and bring it to America for conservation. 

  • Books in Brief

    January 2016

    Pat Burke

    In her well-timed work The Prize, which takes an in-depth look at the battles in Newark over Mark Zuckerberg’s gift, veteran journalist Dale Russakoff offers her analysis. 

  • Books in Brief

    October 2015

    Scott Walter

    Do you think the suffering of human beings is more important than the suffering of other animals? Do you think it’s valuable to know the people who run a charity you support? In his new book, controversial bioethics professor Peter Singer argues that these views and behaviors are mistaken.

  • Where Boys Flounder

    October 2015

    Dan Fishman, Matt Bazik

    Today's schools are inhospitable to many young males. Two books show us that this educational decay will mean worse things to come if we don’t restore excellence in the schooling of both sexes.

  • Reinvented in California

    October 2015

    Chris Weinkopf

    Howard Ahmanson's golden touch. 

  • Books in Brief

    October 2015

    Reviews on two recent reads about school reform and data-driven philanthropy: Reign of Error and The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving. 

  • The Other One Percent

    July 2015

    Andrea Scott

    In For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Washington Post associate editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran argue that it is imperative for U.S. citizens to become more engaged with our troops.

  • Something Out of Nothing

    July 2015

    John Steele Gordon

    It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. And invention is the father of philanthropy, because it creates the wealth that enables great generosity. Now a dazzling new book uncovers philanthropy’s grandparentage.

  • Embarrassment of Riches?

    July 2015

    John Steele Gordon

    Robert Dalzell's new book on the "problem of vast individual fortunes" is a little threadbare, argues John Steele Gordon.

  • When Charities Behave Badly

    July 2015

    Suzanne Garment and Leslie Lenkowsky

    Reviewing Ken Stern's harsh critique of American charities, Leslie Lenkowsky and Suzanne Garment defend diversity and freedom in philanthropy.

  • More Than Just Academics

    April 2015

    Andy Smarick

    Some might view the decline of Catholic schools as a Catholic problem. In reality it is an urban education problem that should concern everyone. Catholic schools have power and potential beyond book learning.

  • Save the Pawns

    January 2015

    Tate Watkins

    Morally neutral approaches to poverty do not exist,” William Easterly writes in his latest book, The Tyranny of Experts. “Any approach to development will either respect the rights of the poor or it will violate them.” Too many aid agencies treat people in developing countries like chess pieces. 

  • The Slow Boat to Utopia

    January 2015

    Travis Kavulla

    Ten years in, the ballyhooed Millennium Villages Project is mostly a bust. In Nina Munk’s book The Idealist, Columbia University economist and celebrity academic Jeffrey Sachs, who made a splash with his plan to engineer the end of poverty as we know it, is an ambivalent figure.

  • Four Brothers and the Apocalypse

    October 2014

    Tom Riley

    Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty—a surprising biography of the Koch family that offers a fascinating window into their life and philanthropy.