Top positive review
The New Frontier of Philanthropy
on May 15, 2011
With a hopeful view on the first decades of the twenty-first century, Claire Gaudiani presents in her book the stage on which a bold philanthropy and a democratic capitalism could act to sustain the nation's economic prosperity, by further advancing the cause that philanthropy could save American capitalism from its unfolding negative directions. She links her argument to rights that have forged the American culture from the founders' ideals to generations of immigrants' hopes: the opportunity for upward mobility, and the pursuit of happiness.
In essence, Gaudiani's aim is to build a compelling case about the role of philanthropy in the U.S. economy. Several factors concur to justify her mission: 1) the brand of U.S. capitalism that demands lower taxes, hence reduces resources for supporting the "social health" (153) of the nation; 2) the poorer 20% sector of the population that remains at a poverty level and could "become angriest" (150); 3) a kind of philanthropy that "enables people to build wealth, not dependency" (151). In many ways the author reaffirms the last point throughout the entire book, capturing early its relevance, as she states in the introduction "philanthropy is an investment in our democracy and our economy" (10).
Ultimately, Gaudiani appeals to the reader to see how an engaging and bold philanthropy would be the fitting strategy and the force for successfully promoting change in the directions of American capitalism, as well as for saving it, by moving it toward a more efficient and socially responsible democratic capitalism.