Summary of The Most Good You Can Do

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Most Good You Can Do book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


“Effective altruism” pioneer Peter Singer advocates taking a pragmatic approach to giving. To reduce suffering and save lives, do your research and place your money with organizations where it will do the most good. Singer provides giving guidelines and noteworthy case studies of people whose lifestyles support these ideals. The chapters about how to choose a charity will intrigue readers who are willing to wrestle with philosophical questions such as whether curing blindness or feeding the starving is the worthier cause. For others, the inherent challenges of these moral dilemmas can make the book a weighty read that poses ethical questions. Though Singer’s concept of what makes a donation most valuable may spark some debates, getAbstract finds that this practical approach to giving will intrigue anyone looking for effective ways to help others.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • What elements make up “effective altruism,”
  • How effective altruism differs from traditional giving and
  • How to incorporate effective altruism into your life. 

About the Author

Princeton University bioethics professor Peter Singer’s other books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics and The Life You Can Save.



“Effective Altruism”

Effective altruism is “a philosophy and social movement which applies evidence and reason to working out the most effective ways to improve the world.” Take Matt Wage as an example of an effective altruist. He turned down a prestigious postgraduate position at the University of Oxford to pursue a career on Wall Street. Within a year, he began donating half his salary to effective charities, and soon he was well on his way to meeting his personal goal of saving 100 lives every year throughout his lifetime. Some effective altruists choose high-paying careers and live modestly so they can donate as much as possible. They spread the word about effective giving to attract more people to the movement.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category