LIVE from NYPL: Darren Walker and Gara LaMarche with Peter Osnos on George Soros

Event Details

Darren Walker, Gara LaMarche, and Peter Osnos discuss one of the most consequential, complex, and misunderstood figures of our time.

Book jacket for George Soros: A Life in Full edited by Peter Osnos

Universally known for his decades of philanthropy, progressive politics, and investment success, George Soros is equally well known as the nemesis of the far right—the target of sustained attacks from nationalists, populists, authoritarian regimes, and anti-Semites. At age 91, Soros still looms large on the global stage, and yet the man himself is surprisingly little understood. The new book George Soros: A Life in Full assembles contributors from a variety of different perspectives—public intellectuals, journalists, scholars, and nonprofits—to paint a full picture of the man beyond the media portrayals.

Two of the book’s contributors, Darren Walker and Gara LaMarche, speak with its editor, Peter Osnos, about shining a new light on Soros's activities and passions and, to the extent possible, the motivation for them and the outcomes that resulted.

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Darren Walker recommends these titles for further reading: Gara LaMarche recommends:
  • Just Giving: How Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Could Do Better, by Rob Reich — NYPL Catalog ;  Bookshare
Peter Osnos recommends:
  • The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future, by Sebastian Mallaby — NYPL Catalog ;  Bookshare
  • Not One Inch: America, Russia and the Making of the Post Cold-War Stalemate, by M.E. Sarotte — NYPL Catalog ;  Bookshare
  • Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History, by Lea Ypi — NYPL Catalog ;  Bookshare


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  • Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue.
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Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $16 billion international social justice philanthropy. Under his leadership, the Ford Foundation became the first non-profit in US history to issue a $1 billion designated social bond to stabilize non-profit organizations in the wake of COVID-19. Before joining Ford, Walker was a vice president at Rockefeller Foundation. Previously, he was COO of Harlem's Abyssinian Development Corporation. Walker co-founded both the US Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents' Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. He serves on many boards, including the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the High Line, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Gara LaMarche is a Senior Fellow at the Colin Powell School at City College at City University in New York, where he teaches courses on leadership and human rights and co-chairs Leadership for Democracy and Social Justice. He was formerly President of Democracy Alliance, a group of progressive donors, and before that, President and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies and Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs for George Soros's Open Society Foundations. A longtime advocate for human rights at home and abroad, he has held various positions with Human Rights Watch, PEN American Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Peter Osnos is a prominent reporter, publisher, and author. He started his career for the Washington Post and served as the newspaper's foreign and national editor. He served in a number of roles including senior editor and publisher of Random House's Times Book division. In 1977, he founded PublicAffairs. During his time there, he published books by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and Magic Johnson and billionaire George Soros. He previously served on the board of directors of Human Rights Watch.



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This program is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).