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Philanthrocapitalism Hardcover – Sep 23 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury US; 1 edition (Sept. 23 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596913746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596913745
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #579,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Investing in Human Kind Dec 24 2008
By H. Sirkin - Published on
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.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Clearing the Windshield about Social Investing Jan. 4 2009
By Don Tapscott - Published on
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.

I expect the book will be widely read, and so it should. But my greatest hope is that people with wealth will read it and follow the lead of their most progressive peers. How ironic, should the rich actually end up being key to making this smaller world our children inherit a better and more sustainable one?

Don Tapscott, author Grown Up Digital, Wikinomics, The Naked Corporation and other books.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
How The Rich Can Save The World Nov. 3 2008
By A. A. Cave - Published on
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A very well rounded survey July 5 2011
By artfulJohn - Published on
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.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The new generation of philanthropists Nov. 9 2008
By James Fruchterman - Published on
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.