Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History (Pap…



Professional historians address the dominant issues and theories offered to explain the history of American philanthropy and its role in American society. These essays develop and enlighten major themes, oftentimes contesting each other in the process. The overarching premise is that philanthropic activity in America has its roots in the desires of individuals to impose their visions of societal ideals, or conceptions of truth, upon their society. To do so, they organize in groups that frequently define themselves and their group’s role in society.

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