Regular price: $28.00

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's 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.

©2018 Anand Giridharadas (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“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)

"This is a very difficult subject to tackle, but Giridharadas executes it brilliantly... This must-have title will be of great interest to readers, from students to professionals and everyone in-between, interested in solutions to today's complex problems... Winners Take All will be the starting point of conversations private and in groups on alternatives to the status quo and calls to action. An excellent book for troubled times." (Booklist)

"Provocative and passionate... This damning portrait of contemporary American philanthropy is a must-read for anyone interested in 'changing the world."" (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    328
  • 4 Stars
    65
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    304
  • 4 Stars
    56
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    301
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    9
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pay attention to the Elite behind the Curtain....

"rich relations give
Crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don't take too much
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own.

From the Second Verse of
"God Bless The Child"
Billie Holiday and Arthur J. Herzog, Jr.
1939

Anand Giridhardas has generated a very readable and important book about the subtle and not too subtle of Philanthropy undertaken by Winners in the Global Competition.

Just a few nuggets:

There is no intellectual counterweight to the current state of hyper capitalism.

Significant private Philanthropy is basically opaque - who's giving what with what strings for what purpose.

Private Philanthropy spends a great deal of money, time and effort on implementing the "apparatus of justification" for their wealth, how it was accumulated and what they are doing with it- sort of Pity the Poor Billionaire that has to follow regulations and pay taxes.

Private Philanthropy in some instances is undertaking some tasks that had been the province of Governments - although now with opaqueness and no accountability.

This is an important subject related to inequality.

Before I read this book I hadn't thought too much about Private Philanthropy and where these people originally got their money - was it legal, ethical and for a better good?

I liked that he generated this enlightening premise - he said the same theme 'n' times.

I would recommend to any individual who has an interest in wealth and income inequality - it's short and longer term effects.

The rating was chosen as the story, subject are speaks for itself - whatever shortcomings are made up during the read.

Carl Gallozzi
Cgallozzi@comcast.net

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Profound.

This book was one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in recent memory. Many things I’ve unknowingly been taking for granted as more or less orthodoxy when it comes to notions of changing the world we’re challenged and turned on their respective heads. Just an incredibly interesting, urgent, devastatingly relevant book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow: A searing review a CHARADE we need to face squarely

I have long thought that Anand was “an interesting guy on the scene”.
His cogent observations and truth-telling experience are really a hopeful assessment of the new realities which are confounding for many of us. Valuable read. Worthy of your time, for sure.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's hard to know what to make of this book.

Giridharadas raises a really important question, and he offers the beginnings of an analysis that has the potential to really re-think our relationship with society as intellectual and economic elites. However, the question I am left with is whether his book, that criticizes the McKinsey way for cramming concepts into stock organizational schemes and criticizes Mr. Trump for having been the worst example of the very thing he campaigned against, is this same thing, itself. That is, Giridharadas offers interesting anecdotes and interview testimony from others like himself, but he never really goes beyond scratching the surface. He begins the book with a fairly pre-existing hypothesis and never critiques or tests this hypothesis. And as he, as he admits in the acknowledgements (which is, in many senses, the best chapter of the book and is well worth the listen), he has been, again and again, part of the problem himself.

I'm just not sure this book is also not part of the problem and not part of the solution. At its best, it presages the book that actually needs to be written, that actually critically analyzes and assesses this situation, and real investigation into potential answers and possibly scalable models for solving this kind of disproportionate and self-interested impact that we have as economic and influence elites (by way of disclosure I am a consultant and I am sure that I, too, am frequently part of the problem).

I do want to say, on the positive side, Giridharadas self-narrating is perfect. His style is perfectly matched to his writing. His fast talking, glib way of quoting his interviewees fits with the half-thought, intellectually lazy ideas he encounters. He was an outstanding narrator in all respects.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful

An inside view into the mentality of wealthy "Do gooders" who hope to help the masses by maintaining the status quo.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An uncharitable book about uncharitable behavior

This book packs a lot into it's pages. The author looks at the benevolent billionaires and their belief that they can solve all the problems in the world with a business minded approah. All social ills, economic struggles and societal failings are matters that are best addressed by business leaders and their profit minded axioms. They are wrong, of course, and this book explains why. The business maxim of win-win, and what is good for you - and your problems - is good for business is torn asunder and are shown for what it is: ineffectivetive. This philosophy of the wealthy doing right by the underlings, while helping their bottom line and disabling goverment, is a hindrance on modern society and this book let's us know why and how this came to be. From silican valley tech moguls to the global initiatives no stl e is left unturned. The writer peeks behind every curtain and under every bed with a wide scope of vision. He never forgets that actions have consequences. These benevolent riches are the architects of the financial collapse, arbitrarily increase prices on homes, said the everyman personal savings and answer to nobody. This is the kind of book that got writers in trouble in years past and the type we see too few of today. I'm glad it was written and written by such an academic and fair hand.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too snide by half

I had to stop listening about halfway through because the snide, acid, smug-but-verklempt tone of the author/reader started to erode my will to live. There are some interesting (even fascinating) points raised here, but so much hypocrisy it made my head spin. And so, so much sneering. The point of view the author puts forward is preached (spat out) from a sociopolitically spring-loaded bully pulpit. If you sit comfortably among the congregation this guy is preaching to, you will love this book. I found myself wanting to talk back at him, even yell at him, but decided the wiser thing to do was to tell Alexa to shut him up. Small victories.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

5 minutes in I knew this book would change my life

Fresh look at how the world economy works. Very thought provoking, I feel like I need to listen a 2nd time- a lot to digest.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought Provoking and Satisfying

This book gave voice to a discomfort I've felt but not understood about the super wealthy and their philanthropic operations. Sure, it's good that some tycoons are funding efforts at tackling social problems, but they are all too often willing to table their concerns about their role in CAUSING the problems until after they've made their millions. When they're put in charge of addressing world-scale problems, they are the ones with most to lose, and they have no interest in changing the rules to keep income inequality from worsening, let alone in trying to end it.

It had a great dose of history, too -- these are problems that our government used to solve. Private companies, however, have advocated for lower taxes, hollowing out government's ability to fund solutions, necessitating a dependence on private benefactors.

There aren't easy answers to turning the tide; in fact, the author spends a decent chunk of the book discussing the limitations and smugness of corporate-style bulletpoints and protocols. Rather, it's a manifesto of sorts that tries to reposition the role of government & public institutions to "do good."

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An important critique of modern do-gooders

This is an important book that discusses a core problem of our modern economic and political situation. Having worked in both political advocacy and philanthropy (and fled the latter), I found his argument, deftly set forth through a series of portraits of committed do-gooders, consistent with my experience of meeting with budding hedge fund millionaires who wished to create foundations to address the economic and social problems caused by the very system that enabled them to accumulate great wealth at an early age. The author does an excellent job of portraying the cultural and economic context that encourages this phenomenon, but too little in the way of potential solutions. I hope he will tackle that next.