The author weaves a history of the Ford Foundation with the biography of its current president; the author glosses over eugenics and the foundation, did she skip anything in the president's past?
"Ford’s grant-makers are employed “for the general purpose of advancing human welfare,” so their work requires determining what human welfare consists of and how best to advance it. This being no simple matter, they spend a great deal of time on it and frequently revise their conclusions. Of course, even with money, changing the world is difficult. The grant-makers know that many of their ideas will not work, and that even those which do will only go so far, because of all the other obstacles. Still, compared to others with similar ambitions, they possess a rare and heady blend of power and freedom: they are beholden to no one, neither consumers nor shareholders nor clients nor donors nor voters, and they have half a billion dollars each year to spend on whatever they like."--Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker