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Brooks



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Thanks to the posters in this forum Reply with quote

Thanks to all who have taken time to post to the forum for Who Really Cares. I appreciate the thoughful discussion.

A couple of quick notes. First, someone has gone to the effort to post a few reviews of the book. The selection isn't exactly random--he or she obviously looked for bad reviews, mostly on blogs. In at least one case, a reviewer listed hadn't apparently read the book. That's all OK, but if anyone's interested in what some more mainstream publications have had to say, the book has been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and a few other major outlets. My academic website lists a few of them. Of course, I'm biased too, and tend only to list the nicer reviews! So have a look, if you're interested.

Second, the big source of debate over the book--especially among folks who have heard about the book but haven't actually read it--is politics. Specifically, there is (predictably) a lot of consternation over my supposed argument that conservatives are more generous people than liberals. The book does show that conservatives as a group tend to give more to charity in a lot of measurable ways (contrary to a lot of stereotypes), but I go out of my way to show that this is not because of politics per se. In point of fact, religious liberals give as much as religious conservatives, and secular conservatives tend to give less than all the other groups. But there are simply lots and lots of religious conservatives in America.

Third, one blogger that did a great job looking critically (but not especially favorably) at the book was Jim Lindgren over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Lindgren, who is a first-rate scholar, correctly points out that I don't say much about political moderates. In many cases, moderates are less charitable than conservatives OR liberals. I've heard some say that this is because many "moderates" actually don't have well-formed political viewpoints and are pretty civically-disengaged. I'm aware of this pattern but didn't spend time on it because I was focusing just on the stereotype that the left is more charitable than the right, as opposed to doing a full-blown political analysis of giving. But it's a point well-taken.

Again, my thanks for your interest in the book, whether it be expressed in praise or criticism.

Arthur Brooks
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WX



Joined: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:15 pm    Post subject: total amounts given for each group Reply with quote

Mr. Brooks,

If you are still checking this forum...

What was the total amount of charitable giving for all liberals in your book? and the number of liberals studied?

What was the total amount of charitable giving for all conservatives in your book? and the number of conservatives studied?

thanks Question
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alan82



Joined: 04 Apr 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:58 am    Post subject: statistics Reply with quote

What was the total number of people interviewed? In none of the reviews of the book have I found any statistics on your sampling.

Also, what were the questions asked?
How were the samples chosen?

I'm very concerned that you have taken your opinions from a biased survey or too small of a sample.

What is your definition of religious?
What is your definition of liberal or conservative?
What is your definition of charity?

Also, I think the survey was based on the answers of the people surveyed and their ideas of themselves or what they should be doing, and there may not have been any way to check those figures. I may say I am a very religious conservative and donated $15,000 to charity last year, but that would not necessarily make it true. It may be what I think I SHOULD do. And what I consider conservative may be considered by others to be very liberal.

I would not be willing to buy the book unless I knew the conclusions were valid and the survey was unbiased and based on a large enough sample. We all know statistics can lie.
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WX



Joined: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The total number of each group and the amount given by each group would be helpful information.
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