Announcing a forthcoming book on effective altruism


I'm delighted to officially announce my forthcoming book on effective altruism. The current working titles are Effective Altruism for the US edition, and Doing Good Better for the UK edition. The US edition is being published with the Gotham imprint of Penguin USA, and the UK edition is being published with Guardian Faber (a collaboration between the Guardian newspaper and Faber). The book will be pitched to publishers in other countries after the manuscript has been written.

The book will be an accessible introduction to the idea of effective altruism, presented for a popular audience. It'll be in two parts. The first part explains the key principles behind effective altruism, illustrating them with reference to a wide variety of issues — charity and career choice, which are heavily discussed by EAs, but also issues that are often discussed in mainstream media like Fair Trade, socially responsible investing, and sweatshop labour. The second part takes those principles and applies them to the questions of how to spend your money, how to spend your time, what are the most important causes, and what is the highest-value activity to be doing right now.

I'd really like this to be the go-to resource for people interested in, but still new to, effective altruism. And, as I've been discovering, writing well for a popular audience is extremely difficult — there are a huge number of decisions that require judgment calls, like how colloquial to be, how philosophical, how academic, how much to include, which topics to include… So I'm planning to gather as much feedback on drafts of the book as I possibly can. If you're interested in providing feedback, please e-mail me to let me know!

The timeline for the book is that I hand in the final manuscript on the 1st August; it'll then come out one year later. You can expect to not hear much from me until August, but then to hear a lot from me after then, as I'll be spending some time writing articles and op-eds.

The motivation for my taking on this project is that I think that growing the EA movement is the among the best things I can be doing with my time: every new involved member of the EA community means another 80,000 hours devoted to doing the most good. And that's a big deal!