The book is a sprawling account of how a rising army of billionaire philanthropists is trying to shape nearly corner of society, from education to poverty to medicine, and asking hard questions about how their growing power squares with democratic values and the public interest.
Callahan’s 2004 bestseller The Cheating Culture put him on the cultural map, but The Givers may be his most narrative-driven work yet. The successful adaptation of books from authors exploring similar themes in the non-fiction space provides evidence that a property like The Givers could prove to be an enticing opportunity for any studio seeking an incredible story rooted in reality.
Author Michael Lewis has had several of his non-fiction books adapted into features, including The Blind Side, which earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar, and The Big Short, one of the season’s most buzzed about new films. Ben Mezrich’s expose of Facebook, The Accidental Billionaires, was adapted by Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher into a little movie called The Social Network.
Callahan is the founder of Inside Philanthropy, a digital media site devoted to pulling back the curtain on philanthropy, reporting on those who are giving away their money and why. He is the author of eight other books, including The Moral Center and Fortunes of Change.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer