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Book reviews


This changes everything: Capitalism vs the climate – Naomi Klein

Thomas Kruse 7 June 2016

Naomi Klein’s books – bestsellers all – dive deep into the global challenges of our times, and come back with powerful reporting and polemic with the power to upend conventional thinking. They follow a similar …

Public good by private means: How philanthropy shapes Britain – Rhodri Davies

David Cutler 7 June 2016

It may be a cliché to describe a book as ‘timely’, but in this case the description is fully justified. In a moment when civil society, and hence philanthropy, seems beset with attempts to limit …

The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy – Edited by Pamala Wiepking and Femida Handy

John Harvey 11 March 2016 For Subscribers

Review by John Harvey The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy calls itself a ‘comprehensive reference guide to the practice of philanthropy’. This description is perhaps not quite on the mark: while certainly comprehensive, the book …

No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the price of philanthropy – Linsey McGoey

Richard Jenkins 11 March 2016 For Subscribers

Review by Richard Jenkins Why might anyone think philanthropy was a bad thing? Linsey McGoey explains why with thoroughness, insight, flair, first-hand experience and an impressive range of arguments marshalled from fields as wide-ranging as …

Doing Good Better: How effective altruism can help you make a difference – William MacAskill

Lidwien Sol and Kellie Liket 11 March 2016 For Subscribers

Review by Lidwien Sol and Kellie Liket Social media has us ‘doing good’ in increasingly visible ways, from ice buckets to Zuckerberg’s letter to his daughter. However, tackling global challenges – as individuals but also …

Getting Beyond Better – How social entrepreneurship works
 Roger L. Martin and Sally Osberg

Michael Alberg-Seberich 1 December 2015 For Subscribers

Reviewed by Michael Alberg-Seberich This is a book about systems change or, as the authors call it, ‘equilibrium change’. It may be a cliché, but in social sciences or humanities this issue often implies complicated …

The most good you can do: How effective altruism is changing ideas about living ethically 
by Peter Singer

NCRP 1 December 2015 For Subscribers

Reviewed by Nick Temple Peter Singer’s book is the latest from him about ‘effective altruism’, a movement dedicated to applying reason and evidence to do the most good we can. What this means for Singer …

Staying the Course – William S Moody with Priscilla Lewis (ed)

1 Walter Veirs 1 June 2015

Reviewed by Walter Veirs Know the context, develop trust, work collaboratively, take a long-term view of complex change, rely on solid leadership and be flexible. These are the valuable lessons contained in Bill Moody’s retrospective …

Doing Good Great: An insider’s guide to getting the most out of your philanthropic journey – Doug Balfour

Michael Alberg-Seberich 1 June 2015

Reviewed by Michael Alberg-Seberich As a closet Trekkie I always sensed a connection between Gene Roddenberry’s science fiction saga Star Trek and philanthropy. Exploring the various unknowns in our world is part of philanthropy. It …

The Business of Doing Good – Anton Simanowitz and Katherine Knotts

Harvey Koh 1 June 2015

Reviewed by Harvey Koh I have to confess to being more than a little sceptical as I picked up this book. The subtitle, Insights from one social enterprise’s journey to deliver on good intentions, worried …