Aug. 16, 2006. 01:00 AM
In recent days, Warren Buffett has received near-universal praise for his $31 billion donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has likewise enjoyed wide acclaim for its global health and educational programs, with Buffett's gift the highest tribute of all.
Americans tend to be self-congratulatory philanthropists. After all, 'scientific' philanthropy was invented by a pair of American magnates a century ago — Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller Sr. — who also focused on education and health."