In keeping with our altruistic theme this edition, our Ultimate Library selections are all focused on philanthropy – from an in-depth history of the subject from Aristotle all the way to Mark Zuckerberg to a treatise that considers our responsibility to future humans and how we can build a better world for those to come – plus a wonderful guide on how to be kind – both to ourselves and to others.
1. Philanthropy: From Aristotle to Zuckerberg by Paul Vallely
‘This is the definitive book on philanthropy – its history, contradictions and future’ (John Grey, London School of Economics) Paul Vallely reveals how the super-rich are silently shaping our world. From the ancient Greeks to today’s high-tech geeks, this book details how the idea of philanthropy has gone from one of honour and altruism to an act of self interest and plutocratic manipulation. Highly engaging and meticulously researched, Paul Vallely’s authoritative account of philanthropy critiques the utilitarianism of modern philanthrocapitalism and points to how philanthropy can rediscover its soul.
2. What We Give: From Marine to Philanthropist by Terry Salman
What makes a soldier? What makes a business mind? What makes a philanthropist? In this rich memoir, Canadian icon of mining finance and public service Terry Salman reflects on his remarkable life, offering inspiration and mentorship for others seeking to build their own legacies. Providing an inside view of the Canadian business, political, and philanthropic landscape, What We Give is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand how some are driven to succeed, and to give back.
3. The Generosity Crisis – The Case for Radical Connection to Solve Humanity’s Greatest Challenges by Brian Crimmins, Nathan Chappell, and Michael Ashley
In Generosity Crisis, accomplished philanthropy experts’ deliver an insightful exploration of the decline of American generosity. The authors offer inspirational solutions to the dramatic downturn in giving, showing readers how to re-establish the interconnection that drives reciprocity and generosity. An engrossing and essential treatment of practical charity and non-profit work, this book earns a place in the libraries of those with a personal stake in the continued survival of the charitable sector.
The Generosity Crisis – The Case for Radical Connection to Solve Humanity’s Greatest Challenges
4. What We Owe the Future: A Million-Year View by William MacAskill
Called a ‘thrilling and necessary book’ by Sam Harris, philosopher William MacAskill argues that the idea of positively influencing the distant future is a key moral priority of our time. From this perspective, it’s not enough to reverse climate change or avert the next pandemic. Humankind must ensure that civilisation would rebound if it collapsed, counter the end of moral progress, and prepare for a planet where the smartest being are digital, not human. Astonishing number of people could lead lives of happiness or suffering depending on what we choose to do today.
5. The Keys to Kindness: How to be Kinder to Yourself, Others, and the World by Claudia Hammond
‘A clarion call . . . It reminds us that in these frazzled times, rest is not an indulgence but an essential.’ (Sunday Telegraph) In The Keys to Kindness Claudia Hammond takes us on an eye-opening tour of kindness: what constitutes kindness (it’s not what you think), effective strategies to build more of it into our lives and the benefits of being kind. You are kinder than you think, but we could all be kinder still – with enormous benefits for our personal mental health and wellbeing.
The Keys to Kindness: How to be Kinder to Yourself, Others, and the World