From Publishers Weekly
A long-time philanthropist, Loews Hotels CEO Tisch (Chocolates on the Pillow Aren't Enough) writes with contagious excitement about what he sees as a new era of civic engagement, bringing more opportunities than ever for individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. From jet-set party promoter Scott Harrison, whose organization funds drinking water projects in 14 developing nations, to many other amazing people and organizations, Tisch documents a shift from volunteerism to active citizenship, less about alleviating symptoms and more about addressing root causes in problems like poverty, hunger, homelessness, and disease. In chapters like Social Entrepreneurship and Digital Citizenship, Tisch provides plentiful case studies of the model in action, showcasing the worldwide opportunities for and benefits of service. By the time a concluding list of 51 ways to "join the movement" rolls around, it's likely Tisch will have inspired readers to take him up on one of them.
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President Obama’s early career as a community organizer has inspired interest in citizen activism across generations and nations, according to Tisch, head of a financial holding company and major funder of a college of citizenship and public service at Tufts University. Tisch issues a call to action to move beyond volunteerism to more active citizenship, including social entrepreneurship and broader social change that involves the government and the private sector. He points to sustaining efforts such as the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh that funds modest businesses for the rural poor and the Harlem Children’s Zone’s effort to address systemic issues in providing high-quality education to the urban poor. Tisch also examines new philanthropists, including Bill Gates, who apply a business perspective to addressing global social issues. Most compelling are the profiles of lesser-known individuals: Will Allen teaching city dwellers to become urban farmers to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to “food deserts” and Scott Harrison operating a charity to build filtration systems in developing nations. Tisch offers examples of both institutions and individuals who take seriously the notion that citizens can make massive changes. --Vanessa Bush