Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism--America's Charity Divide--Who Gives, Who Do

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Basic Books, 2007 - Social Science - 272 pages
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We all know we should give to charity, but who really does? In his controversial study of America’s giving habits, Arthur C. Brooks shatters stereotypes about charity in America-including the myth that the political Left is more compassionate than the Right. Brooks, a preeminent public policy expert, spent years researching giving trends in America, and even he was surprised by what he found. In Who Really Cares, he identifies the forces behind American charity: strong families, church attendance, earning one’s own income (as opposed to receiving welfare), and the belief that individuals-not government-offer the best solution to social ills. But beyond just showing us who the givers and non-givers in America really are today, Brooks shows that giving is crucial to our economic prosperity, as well as to our happiness, health, and our ability to govern ourselves as a free people.

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Who really cares: the surprising truth about compassionate conversatism: America's charity divide--who gives, who doesn't, and why it matters

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Here, economics and public policy scholar Brooks offers up impressive research on the demographics of charitable giving, revealing that religious people (i.e., belonging to any faith, they regularly ... Read full review

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The title of this book refers to the surprising find that the author came across in his research: conservatives are much more generous than liberals. This flies in the face of the conventional wisdom where even president Bush had to brandish his 2000 campaign as "compassionate conservatism". It turns out "compassionate" is redundant: conservatives of all stripes outflank liberalism when it comes to charitable giving and generosity. This is a very stable and robust find, and it turns out that it does not depend on the kind of charity: money, time, treasure, blood donations, secular or religious causes, in all those categories conservatives, especially the religious kind, are by far more giving and generous than anyone else. One of the great strengths of this book is the reliance on empirical, quantifiable, data and not case studies or the word of mouth. Even though the book is data driven, it is eminently readable and should be read by anyone who has even the slightest interest in public policy debate. 


Is Compassionate Conservatism an Oxymoron?
Faith and Charity
Other Peoples Money
Income Welfare and Charity
Charity Begins at Home
Continental Drift
Charity Makes You Healthy Happy and Rich
The Way Forward
The Data on Charity and Selfishness

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Page 2 - They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools.

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About the author (2007)

Arthur C. Brooks is Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The author of Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, Brooks writes widely about the connections between culture, politics, and economic life in America, and his work appears frequently in the Wall Street Journal and other publications. He is a native of Seattle, Washington, and currently lives in Syracuse, New York, with his wife Ester and their three children.

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