Linsey, McGoey, (2019) The Unknowers: How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World

  • Mae Shaw
Keywords: Strategic Ignorance, Philanthropy, Communities


I met Linsey McGoey in Dublin in the spring of 2019, where she was presenting a very informed and compelling account of the way in which philanthropy benefits the super-rich, with a particular lens on the Gates Foundation. Her interest then, as in this book, was the way in which the optics of familiar 'truths' are in fact deliberately distorted to suggest the opposite of what is actually the truth. For example, it is not just a happy accident for the super-rich that most people don't see through the official narrative of 'philanthropy', but a predictable outcome of the way in which knowledge is managed to hide the real truth. This concern with what she calls 'strategic ignorance' is developed more fully in this book. The Unknowers is a stimulating and provocative read which offers challenging insights for work with communities.

Author Biography

Mae Shaw

Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh

How to Cite
Shaw, M. (2021) “Linsey, McGoey, (2019) The Unknowers: How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World”, Concept, 12(2), pp. 1-6. Available at: (Accessed: 6December2021).