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Review: 'George Soros: A Life in Full'

April 26, 2022

Book_cover_George_Soros_A_Life_in_FullIt feels like our idea of an “open society” is in retreat. Wherever we look—be it the United States, where anti-democratic forces are rolling back voting rights; or Russia, where opposition leaders are imprisoned and restrictive press freedoms make it nearly impossible to report the news; or Hungary, where its nationalist, authoritarian president has been elected to a fourth term; or Ukraine, where the very existence of a free and democratic country is being challenged with military force—our notions of justice, rights, and political freedom are under threat. What we are learning in these precipitous times is that the truths we hold to be self-evident are in fact won—and lost—by our own willingness to nurture and defend them. And that is something George Soros understands very well.

The day before the publication of George Soros: A Life in Full, edited by longtime Soros publisher Peter L.W. Osnos, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) announced a $25 million pledge to launch the $100 million Ukraine Democracy Fund in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbor. This timing could not have been more appropriate, reflecting the urgency of the moment to support Ukrainian civil society and bolster relief efforts, while opening a window on the life and work of one of the last half-century’s more remarkable philanthropists. Soros, at the age of 91, is where he has always been: outspoken on his values and out front in his support of a world that embraces universal justice, human rights, political freedom, education, public health, and a free press....

Read the full commentary by Daniel X. Matz, contributing editor at Philanthropy News Digest.

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Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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