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Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World – review

Anand Giridharadas’s study explains why charity begins at home for billionaire philanthropists

If you happened to see the video of the Dutch historian Rutger Bregman confronting a Davos audience with the elephant in the room that is tax avoidance (“It feels like I’m at a firefighters’ conference and no one’s allowed to speak about water,” he said) and are looking for something that captures the same spirit, Winners Take All is the book for you.

Anand Giridharadas, a former New York Times columnist, takes aim at the modern plutocratic class that gathers at Davos and Aspen with the stated intention of making the world a better place, what Giridharadas calls in his subtitle: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. It’s a charade, he argues, because these philanthropic tech billionaires and bankers are really only concerned with maintaining a system that has provided them with unimaginable wealth, while leaving a vast swath of humanity in need of help. Giridharadas cites one shocking statistic that says just eight billionaires, most from the field of technology, possess as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.

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