Philanthropy in America

Philanthropy in America

A History

Book - 2012
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American philanthropy today expands knowledge, champions social movements, defines active citizenship, influences policymaking, and addresses humanitarian crises. How did philanthropy become such a powerful and integral force in American society? Philanthropy in America is the first book to explore in depth the twentieth-century growth of this unique phenomenon. Ranging from the influential large-scale foundations established by tycoons such as John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and the mass mobilization of small donors by the Red Cross and March of Dimes, to the recent social advocacy of individuals like Bill Gates and George Soros, respected historian Olivier Zunz chronicles the tight connections between private giving and public affairs, and shows how this union has enlarged democracy and shaped history.

Zunz looks at the ways in which American philanthropy emerged not as charity work, but as an open and sometimes controversial means to foster independent investigation, problem solving, and the greater good. Andrew Carnegie supported science research and higher education, catapulting these fields to a prominent position on the world stage. In the 1950s, Howard Pew deliberately funded the young Billy Graham to counter liberal philanthropies, prefiguring the culture wars and increased philanthropic support for religious causes. And in the 1960s, the Ford Foundation supported civil rights through education, voter registration drives, and community action programs. Zunz argues that American giving allowed the country to export its ideals abroad after World War II, and he examines the federal tax policies that unified the diverse nonprofit sector.

Demonstrating that America has cultivated and relied on philanthropy more than any other country, Philanthropy in America examines how giving for the betterment of all became embedded in the fabric of the nation's civic democracy.

Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
ISBN: 9780691128368
Characteristics: x, 381 p. ; 24 cm.


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May 27, 2014

[in quotes] ...respected historian Olivier Zunz ... [end quote] If you say so, buddy, but many of us don't think so. A sham is a sham is a sham, and when Rockefeller and the other robber barons hired professional propagandists and PR types, like Ivy Lee, to change their public designation to philanthropists, they didn't alter reality, only the dummies' perception of it. No mystery why oil man Pew funded conservative righwinger Billy Graham, and the Ford Foundation supported quite a bit more than a slice of civil rights, like many CIA operations. Carnegie was a death merchant who also hired PR people to gussy up his image. Bill Gates' foundation promotes the adoption of vile GMOs from Monsanto, while getting countries' to foot the bill, while being heavily invested in Monsanto, and pushes for the privatization of education to further destroy public education. The financial structure of foundations was set in the legisation of 1913 congressional session, the same one which cursed us with the Federal Reserve System, the 16th Amendment to collect taxes for the Federal Reserve, and the oil depletion allowance. Later, after various investigations by Rep. Wright Patman, the great populist from Texas, established that foundations and trusts were where the super-rich hid their wealth and ownership, a commission on foundations was established to right this, but the appointment of Peter G. Peterson negated and compromised any change.


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