Books & Ideas

Swearing mentors, learned helplessness, and pay-day loans: what Hillbilly Elegy teaches us about charity

J.D. Vance’s bestseller Hillbilly Elegy offers an unflinching inside look at rural America. We can learn a lot about charitable work in rural areas from this book.

elite, liberalism
A new kind of elite

Patrick Deneen and Jeremy Beer discuss the fatal flaws of liberalism and what comes next. Populism paves the way, but it can’t last without elite support.


Philanthropy and the conservative legal movement

Steven M. Teles’ book, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement, describes the successful role philanthropy played on the right and left to bolster a legal movement advancing their causes.

jonathan haidt
Righteous minds: America in disarray

Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind” offers insight into why we disagree with each other and how we might better communicate. Late in 2020, it is an important book for Americans who are seeing the “lesser angels” of their compatriots.


Strategy when times are bad

If you, like most fundraisers, are facing difficult times in today’s economy, this e-book will help you think through strategy—and tactics—to navigate these stormy waters.

The open road and the good society: a review of Matthew Crawford’s Why We Drive

Matthew Crawford’s new book, Why We Drive: Towards a Philosophy of the Open Road, casts a skeptical eye towards the efforts to “manage” our lives—a trend we see anywhere from the open road to modern philanthropy.


fundraising, fundraising when times are bad, interview
A conversation with Jeremy Beer on his new e-book, Fundraising When Times Are Bad: A Guide for Nonprofit Leaders

This economic downturn caught us all off guard. Nicole Rizkallah sat down with Jeremy Beer to discuss his new e-book, Fundraising When Times Are Bad, and his thoughts about fundraising through a pandemic and an economic downturn.

practical wisdom, prudence, bad times, e-book
Promoting prudence: a review of Jeremy Beer’s Fundraising When Times Are Bad

A review of Jeremy Beer’s new e-book, Fundraising When Times Are Bad: A Guide for Nonprofit Leaders. While commending practical wisdom Beer’s new e-book provides guidance to nonprofit leaders navigating “bad times.”


David Brooks’s weak attempt at promoting civil society

In “The Second Mountain,” David Brooks imagines a healthier and happier society—but he fails to acknowledge or understand the robust conversation about strengthening civil society already taking place.

Death by disassociation: a review of Them by Senator Ben Sasse

Loneliness is killing us. Ben Sasse’s latest book, “Them” addresses a growing health crisis today—loneliness—and the effect of loneliness on individual and communal health, as well as contemporary politics.




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