Several new reviews have come out recently for Jeremy Beer's The Philanthropic Revolution. Read some excerpts below.
MercatorNet: "Philanthropy: loving mankind or loving people?"
In October 2011 dozens of homeless people slept outside the US$500 million headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private philanthropic foundation in the world. For 11 nights they curled up on plastic sheets and dirty blankets to protest a funding cut to a local organisation for the homeless.
The Gates Foundation did nothing for them.
First Things: "Charity of Philanthropy?"
According to municipal statistics, there are approximately 60,000 people living on the streets in New York City at present, and most New Yorkers know that there are a whole bevy of private organizations, societies, coalitions, and alliances that exist for the purpose of serving them—as well as departments, agencies, bureaus, and task forces at every level of government—and that it is generally wiser to trust these organizations to use one’s money effectively than to trust the spending habits of the average mendicant.
But “effectiveness” is a metric of utility, and utility is the ne plus ultra of technology—which is what modern philanthropy has become: a tool that mediates our relations one to another.
Fare Forward: "Both/And Philanthropy"
Jeremy Beer, author of The Philanthropic Revolution: An Alternative History of American Charity and William MacAskill, author of Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make A Difference both feel a deep responsibility for others, but disagree about exactly what it is that they owe.
Will MacAskill, a philosophy professor at Oxford and one of the leaders of the Effective Altruism (EA) movement, is focused on getting the most charitable bang for the buck whenever he makes a donation. Jeremy Beer, a founding partner of American Philanthropic and the president of the American Ideas Institute, finds that true charity has been eclipsed by technocratically and globally minded philanthropy, of which MacAskill’s EA is only the latest example.