The Influence of Soros: Politics, Power, and the Struggle for an Open Society

Harper. Jul. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780062972637. $28.99. POL SCI
Journalist Tamkin’s debut is an investigation of George Soros and his influence as a successful investor, philanthropist, and political policymaker. Though conspiracy theorists have spun negative allegations about Soros recently, he was relatively unknown outside the financial world for most of his life. In particular, Tamkin explores whether his efforts to use his influence to create a fairer, freer, more open society is inherently at odds with his status as a billionaire. The author describes Soros’s background, growing up Jewish in Nazi-occupied Hungary. The narrative continues by describing in more detail how his expertise in finance enabled him to become a successful hedge-fund owner. Tamkin also tells how Soros began his philanthropic activities in 1979 with a foundation that provided opportunity for fairness, freedom, and economic equity in countries such as Hungary and Poland. Finally, Tamkin discusses the reaction to Soros’s philanthropy in societies where governments resisted the efforts to promote openness and democratic principles. The extensive, well-documented research shows that Soros has wide influence in trying to make the world a better place.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy political history and international relations will find this book informative and useful.

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