Winners Take All: Book summary and reviews of Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas

Winners Take All

The Elite Charade of Changing the World

by Anand Giridharadas

Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas X
Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas

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Book Summary

An insider's groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to "change the world" preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve.

Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can - except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. We see how they rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; how they lavishly reward "thought leaders" who redefine "change" in winner-friendly ways; and how they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm. We hear the limousine confessions of a celebrated foundation boss; witness an American president hem and haw about his plutocratic benefactors; and attend a cruise-ship conference where entrepreneurs celebrate their own self-interested magnanimity.

Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? He also points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world. A call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This damning portrait of contemporary American philanthropy is a must-read for anyone interested in 'changing the world.'" - Publishers Weekly

"A provocative critique of the kind of modern, feel-good giving that addresses symptoms and not causes." - Kirkus

"In Anand's thought-provoking book his fresh perspective on solving complex societal problems is admirable. I appreciate his commitment and dedication to spreading social justice." - Bill Gates

"An insightful and refreshing perspective on some of the most vexing issues this nation confronts. This is an important book from a gifted writer whose honest exploration of complex problems provides urgently needed clarity in an increasingly confusing era." - Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

"A trenchant, humane, and often revelatory investigation by one of the wisest nonfiction writers going." - Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

"Winners Take All is the book I have been waiting for - the most important intervention yet regarding elite-driven solutions, a vitally important problem to expose...If you want to be part of the solution, you should read this book." - Ai-jen Poo, director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

"A brilliant, rising voice of our era takes us on a journey among the global elite in his search for understanding of our tragic disconnect. Thought-provoking, expansive, and timely." - Isabel Wilkerson, author, The Warmth of Other Suns

"Winners Take All boldly exposes one of the great if little-reported scandals of the age of globalization: the domestication of the life of the mind by political and financial power and the substitution of 'thought leaders' for critical thinkers. It not only reorients us as we lurch out of a long ideological intoxication; it also embodies the values - intellectual autonomy and dissent - that we need to build a just society." - Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger

"[T]renchant and timely...An indispensable guide for those perplexed by the rising public anger toward 'change-making' elites." - Michael J. Sandel, author of What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

The information about Winners Take All shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Anand Giridharadas

Anand Giridharadas is the author of The True American and India Calling. He was a foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times from 2005 to 2016, and has also written for The Atlantic, The New Republic, and The New Yorker. He is an Aspen Institute fellow, an on-air political analyst for MSNBC, and a former McKinsey analyst. He teaches journalism at New York University and has spoken on the main stage of TED. His writing has been honored by the Society of Publishers in Asia, the Poynter Fellowship at Yale, and the New York Public Library's Helen Bernstein Award. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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