About the Authors
Teaming up for their second book, authors Phil Harvey and Lisa Conyers have spent the past 24 months traveling across the United States interviewing business leaders who benefit from "corporate welfare" as well as talking with the people in the communities and businesses who are harmed by the diversion of taxpayer funds to the wealthy.
Phil Harvey is an entrepreneur who has founded a thriving business, a philanthropist who has created several important nonprofit organizations, and the author of five books.
Harvey is chairman and a major shareholder of Adam & Eve, a mail order business that sells products for a better sex life. As a philanthropist, Harvey became concerned about the problems of global hunger and lack of family planning during a stint with the international charity CARE in India. Harvey used the profits from Adam & Eve to found DKT International, which provides family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in more than twenty countries in the developing world. Harvey also co-founded Population Services International, which today operates in almost 70 countries. Harvey’s combination of business and social interests led Mother Jones magazine to dub him a "hardcore philanthropist."
Between 1977 and 2007, Harvey engaged in several successful legal battles with the United States and New York State governments in defense of First Amendment rights. These inspired Harvey’s book The Government vs. Erotica: The Siege of Adam & Eve (Prometheus, 2001), which was nominated by the American Library Association’s Freedom Roundtable as the year’s best book on intellectual freedom. In 2010, he founded the DKT Liberty Project, which works to support individual freedom, civil liberties, and free speech. The DKT Liberty Project has filed numerous friend-of-the-court briefs supporting free speech rights, and Harvey has been active in campaigns to decriminalize drug use and roll back the war on drugs. Harvey also serves on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship. In 2019, he participated in the group’s Open Discussion project, debating current issues such as democracy and immigration at Washington, D.C.’s Politics and Prose bookstore.
Harvey’s other books include Let Every Child Be Wanted: How Social Marketing Is Revolutionizing Contraceptive Use Around the World (Greenwood, 1999); Government Creep: What Government Is Doing That You Don’t Know About (Loompanics Unlimited, 2003); and The Human Cost of Welfare: How the System Hurts the People It’s Supposed to Help (Praeger, 2016; co-authored with Lisa Conyers), which was praised by Reason Magazine as "a must-read for anyone interested in making government accountable." Harvey is also the author of a novel, Show Time (Lost Coast Press, 2012), a psychological thriller that offers a chilling satire of reality television.
Phil Harvey was educated at Harvard, where he earned a degree in Slavic languages and literature in 1961. He also has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina. He lives with his wife, Harriet Lesser, in Cabin John, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C.
Lisa Conyers is director of policy studies for the DKT Liberty Project as well as co-author, with Phil Harvey, of The Human Cost of Welfare. At the Liberty Project she works on ways to tackle inequality, protect civil liberties, and improve welfare systems—for example, by reforming drug law policy, encouraging immigration, limiting federal spending, and curbing civil asset forfeiture.
As a nonpartisan consultant to private clients and think tanks, she focuses on economics and public policy issues. Her passion is explaining complex economic issues for the layman. Lisa also consults on films and documentaries on economics and free markets. She is currently at work on stories about the failures of foreign aid, incentives for economic development, and the intersection between Big Ag and environmental degradation.
Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Huffington Post, among other venues, and she has appeared frequently on radio and TV to discuss economic and social issues. She holds an undergraduate degree in American Studies from George Mason University and a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Maryland. She lives in California on her sailboat.