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Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World Paperback – Bargain Price, November 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


“A terrific book about how private money can help solve even the most difficult public problems. Philanthrocapitalism is the definitive guide to a new generation of philanthropists who understand innovation and risk-taking, and who will play a crucial part in solving the biggest problems facing the world.” ―Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Everything you need to know about the revolution underway in the world of philanthropy--its potential as well as its challenges. An indispensable book for anyone who cares about helping the world's four billion poor get a chance to live their dreams.” ―Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capital

“Without question the best book now available on the global explosion of philanthropy, the new forms of giving and volunteering, and the many variations of social entrepreneurship. Indeed, it is the only book that provides a comprehensive, worldwide view of this new age of charity. In reader-friendly prose, notable not only for its felicity but also for its lack of jargon, Bishop and Green document the state-of-the-art practices with which the flood of philanthropic dollars is being turned toward the world's critical social problems.” ―Joel Fleishman, author of The Foundation

“Important. Well-written. Timely. Here in this wonderful book, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green shine a light on sparkling examples of effective philanthropy, and how some of the most accomplished people are trying to solve the world's most intractable problems. A superb portrait of a vital new force shaping the world today, Philanthrocapitalism deserves to be widely read.” ―Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

“Matthew Bishop's and Michael Green's stunning book provides keen and penetrating insights into the growing significance of the new philanthropists and their commitment to use their wealth to change the world and deploy their wealth with capitalistic rigor. It is a must read for anyone searching for creative approaches to solving the world's problems.” ―Bill George, author of True North and former chair & CEO of Medtronic

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Matthew Bishop is chief business writer of the Economist. Michael Green is an expert on the relationship between government and the nongovernmental sector, particularly in the field of international development. Bishop lives in London, Green in New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; Reprint edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596916958
  • ASIN: B004A14W5E
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Don Tapscott on January 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm generally disappointed by business, and for that matter non-fiction books. It's rare to get a fresh idea, let alone one that is argued well. I've followed Mathew Bishop's work over the years was was excited to learn he had a new book. But I confess to some skepticism when I saw he had co-authored a book with a subtitle "How the Rich Can Save the World." When I look at the problems facing the world it seems to me that the rich, more than any other group have messed it up. And what a mess we have.

However, Philanthrocapitalism is a great book, and I can't think of any category of educated person who should not read it. For starters there is a lot of mud on the windshield when it comes to social investing, venture philanthrophy, philanthropreneurship, social innovation, social entrepreneurship and the like. The book provides a vivid and reach exposure to how wealth is increasingly being applied to improve the state of the world. I learned about the ecosystems of social investing, and was stunned to learn what's actually happening in this area.

For some time there has been the expression among the Corporate Social Responsibility community "You do well by doing good." I don't think this has been true. Many companies have done well by being awful - by having terrible labor practices, bad products bolstered by good advertising, externalizing costs (such as industrial emissions) on society and the like. However increasingly in the age of transparency everyone is being held to higher standards. And a new generation of people with wealth are beginning to understand that you can't succeed in a world that is failing.
And what a great read. Every single chapter was packed with interesting stories about the players who are making this happen.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By H. Sirkin on December 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this time of recession and government spending cuts, charitable organizations and medical, scientific and social research are under severe pressure to curtail their efforts. But thanks to the return-oriented support of the ultrawealthy, these programs can in many cases continue their critical work. Bishop and Green trace the history of philanthrocapitalism and focus on its implications for modern society. With their emphasis on key players like the Rockefeller Foundation, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates ("Billanthropy"), Bishop and Green provide a clear perspective on how the ultrarich are playing an increasingly important role in making investments--rather than just donations--to solve problems that will transform the lives of humankind. This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the future of philanthropy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. A. Cave on November 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We may all be obsessed with our own financial issues in the current downturn but it is likely to make Warren Buffett even richer in the long term so don't let anyone tell you that philanthrocapitalism dies with the credit crunch.
Bishop and Green make this argument powerfully in this impressive dissection of the origins, motivations and likely direction of corporate philanthropy. There are some great stories about the rich and famous - I particularly liked the expletive-ridden exchange between P Diddy and Bill Gates - but this is not an exercise in philanthro-puffery. The authors accept that the chief motivation of many such givers is a lower tax bill. This is a highly-readable, well-crafted exposition of why that shouldn't make a jot of difference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By artfulJohn on July 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I have just completed the book and think it excellent. Don't be fooled by its title. It offers a very well rounded survey both of contemporary philanthropy and insights into the history of philanthropy. The authors describe five "golden ages" of philanthropy. of which the fifth is now. Its cast of characters are primarily British, American and contemporary Indian billionaires.

A central thesis is that philanthrocapitalists have the potential to be "hyperagents" able to apply their acumen to "tipping points and bottle necks" in a pluralistic system where governments, corporations and NGOs combine to meet the world's biggest challenges.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Fruchterman on November 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This excellent book is the first in-depth account of the new generation of philanthropists who will write the next few chapters of philanthropy. Most of the major new players that are currently coming on stage are covered, with a journalistic ethic of balancing the boosters' claims with the points of the critics. But, the book *is* discussing the voluntary parting of cash from billionaires, so it might be understandable that much of the material is somewhat sympathetic. Enough of the history of philanthropy is woven in to provide the background of past "philanthrocapitalists" like Carnegie and Rockefeller, and demonstrate that financial booms often are followed by a blossoming of giving. Of course, the method of social entrepreneurship is prominently featured.

The book concludes with a tongue-in-cheek imagining of a gathering of the senior philanthrocapitalists in 2025 on Richard Branson's mansion in space: the Gates, Jeff Skoll, Oprah Winfrey, Mo Ibrahim, Angelina Jolie and the new U.S. president, Larry Page.
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Format: Paperback
B&G coin a malapropism with 'Philanthrocapitalism'. It's a very good history of high finance philanthropy, but there's no logic in projecting the effects on capitalism. B&G don't seem to recognize that politics has long ago trumped economics. The impossibility of 'philanthropolitics' precludes anything akin to 'philanthrocapitalism' becoming effective. As the authors point out, governmental economics dwarfs the amounts available to even these richest of financiers.

There are discussions of the efforts of efforts of Gates, Buffet, Turner, Andrew Carnegie and many others past and present. With even handed discussion of possible ulterior motives,
unintended consequences, and ethics of investment by not for profit foundations. Topics include some morphing of non profit foundations to for-profit honoring of founder's wishes
and the economics of awarding prizes. Especially interesting are the X prizes for science and mathematics.

It's a very edifying history and analysis of high finance philanthropy. The material is very original, not easily duplicated elsewhere.
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