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Philanthropy

Review: A Gift of Freedom

How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America

There are two ways to read this book: as a paean to a hardworking, bristly, moderately visionary industrialist who became a financial angel of the right; or as a step-by-step recounting of how a group of conservative intellectuals allied themselves with a right-leaning wealthy philanthropist to accomplish a massive transformation of American political culture.

On the first count, the book serves up an excessively laudatory tribute to John Olin, a man who inherited substantial wealth and...


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