Latest Entries
“Contraband Humanitarianism”: German Charity on the Kenyan Coast
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

“Contraband Humanitarianism”: German Charity on the Kenyan Coast

Editors’ Note: Nina Berman wraps up HistPhil‘s book forum on German philanthropic history. The chapter I wrote for German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective is part of a larger ethnographic project that I conducted over much of the past decade in an Indian Ocean community in Kenya. That study explores material changes and social relations in Diani, an … Continue reading

The German Philanthropic Experience after 1945
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

The German Philanthropic Experience after 1945

Editors’ Note: Volker Berghahn continues HistPhil‘s book forum on German philanthropic history. Berghahn contributed to the edited volume, German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective, which Gregory Witkowski introduced in yesterday’s post.  In his recent book, Philanthropy, Civil Society and the State in German History, Thomas Adam endeavors to correct several misperceptions that he found in the literature … Continue reading

German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective: A Brief History
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective: A Brief History

Editors’ Note: HistPhil continues its book forum on German philanthropic history with a post from Gregory R. Witkowski, the co-editor of the recently published volume, German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective.  Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America casts a long shadow on discussions of the role of charitable giving, associations, and civil society in a democracy.  … Continue reading

“Je mehr sich etwas aendert”: From Nineteenth-Century German Housing Cooperatives to Twenty-First-Century Social Entrepreneurship
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

“Je mehr sich etwas aendert”: From Nineteenth-Century German Housing Cooperatives to Twenty-First-Century Social Entrepreneurship

Editors’ Note: Thomas Adam, author of Philanthropy, Civil Society, and the State in German History, 1815-1989 (reviewed yesterday by Stefan Toepler), continues HistPhil‘s week-long book forum on German philanthropy history. The last two decades have seen the rise of social enterprises and social entrepreneurship in which profit-seeking ventures are combined with philanthropic forms. This “new … Continue reading

Re-considering Tocqueville through a Wilhelmine Lens: A Review of Adam’s PHILANTHROPY, CIVIL SOCIETY, AND THE STATE IN GERMAN HISTORY, 1815-1989
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

Re-considering Tocqueville through a Wilhelmine Lens: A Review of Adam’s PHILANTHROPY, CIVIL SOCIETY, AND THE STATE IN GERMAN HISTORY, 1815-1989

Editors Note: The last year witnessed the publication two important books on the history of modern German philanthropy, Thomas Adam’s Philanthropy, Civil Society, and the State in German History, 1815-1989 and German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective, edited by Gregory Witkowski and Arnd Bauerkämper. The coincidence of these two works signals a contemporary flowering of scholarship on the … Continue reading

How Can Foundations Change Public Policy? The Case for Funding Grassroots NGOs
New Works in the Field / Political Scientists and Philanthropy

How Can Foundations Change Public Policy? The Case for Funding Grassroots NGOs

Editors’ Note: Continuing the forum on philanthropy and political science, Leah Stokes details how the funding strategies of the Energy Foundation led to policy innovation.  Foundations are often interested in catalyzing policy change. In the United States, however, this is a difficult task to accomplish. The political system is fragmented, with many policy venues. Individual politicians … Continue reading

Julius Rosenwald was not a Hero
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy in the News

Julius Rosenwald was not a Hero

Editors’ Note: In response to a recent SSIR piece describing Julius Rosenwald as a philanthropic hero, HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey reflects on the distinction between an effective philanthropist and a heroic figure.  “Julius Rosenwald is one of our philanthropic heroes.” This is how Bridgespan’s William Foster, Gail Perreault, and Elise Tosun begin their essay on “Ten Ways to Make … Continue reading

What’s New, Philanthropy? Novelty as an Analytic Category in Callahan’s The Givers
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field

What’s New, Philanthropy? Novelty as an Analytic Category in Callahan’s The Givers

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Soskis wraps up HistPhil’s book forum on David Callahan’s The Givers. Although it has gotten much more attention for its commentary on the contemporary philanthropic scene, David Callahan’s The Givers also makes some important arguments about philanthropic history (for more on my thoughts on the book, see my forthcoming review in the … Continue reading

Reckoning with the Allocation of Voice and Power in America: A Review of Callahan’s THE GIVERS
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field

Reckoning with the Allocation of Voice and Power in America: A Review of Callahan’s THE GIVERS

Editors’ Note: Kristin Goss continues HistPhil’s book forum on David Callahan’s The Givers. Michael Bloomberg is a media titan, former big city mayor, and billionaire philanthropist who is deeply worried about global climate change, as well as about the well-funded denialists and business interests hindering action to halt it. In recent years, Bloomberg has pledged … Continue reading

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age II: Katz on Callahan’s THE GIVERS
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age II: Katz on Callahan’s THE GIVERS

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Stanley N. Katz continues HistPhil’s book forum on David Callahan’s The Givers. THE GIVERS is one of the most useful and readable books recently published on the topic of philanthropy. It is especially well-informed on both the institutions and individuals who compose the new world of mega-philanthropy, which is the actual subject … Continue reading

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age: A Review of David Callahan’s THE GIVERS
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age: A Review of David Callahan’s THE GIVERS

Editors’ Note: David Callahan’s The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age has been one of the more widely anticipated and widely discussed  books on philanthropy in recent memory (see, for instance, reviews and coverage here, here, here, and here). At HistPhil, we were keenly interested not only in the content of the book but … Continue reading

Chuck Feeney and the Complex Tri-Partite History of “Giving While Living”
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy

Chuck Feeney and the Complex Tri-Partite History of “Giving While Living”

Editors’ Note: The following is adapted from the introduction to a paper just published by the Atlantic Philanthropies, written by HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis, on the history of “Giving While Living,” examined through the story of Chuck Feeney and the Atlantic Philanthropies. The paper is itself an excerpt from a larger monograph that analyzes the issue of … Continue reading

Political Scientists and Philanthropy

Are Foundations Part of the Resistance? Challenges to Elite Donors in a Neo-Populist Age

Editors’ Note: This post by Kristin A. Goss and Jeffrey M. Berry contributes to the live forum on political science and philanthropy, guest-edited by Sarah Reckhow and Delphia Shanks-Booth. Continuing the forum’s leading discussion of elite philanthropy and populism in the United States, the authors preview their ongoing research of foundations’ responses to new White House initiatives.    The neo-populist wave that … Continue reading

Teaching Philanthropy in the “Middlebury Bubble”
Political Scientists and Philanthropy

Teaching Philanthropy in the “Middlebury Bubble”

Editors’ Note: This contribution by Sarah Stroup and Steve Viner continues our forum on political science and philanthropy. Guest edited by Sarah Reckhow and Delphia Shanks-Booth, the forum is highlighting the various approaches and distinctive contributions that political scientists are making to the study of philanthropy.  For a small but growing number of professors, philanthropy is … Continue reading

The “Ideas Industry” and Populist Reaction in Education Policy
Political Scientists and Philanthropy

The “Ideas Industry” and Populist Reaction in Education Policy

Editors’ Note: Sarah Reckhow, guest editor of the current forum on political science and philanthropy, reviews fellow political scientist Daniel Drezner’s new book, The Ideas Industry (OUP, 2017). She concludes by reflecting on the book’s relevance for students of American education policy and philanthropy.   In May 2013, Bill Gates delivered a TED talk called “Teachers Need Real Feedback.” The … Continue reading

Elite Philanthropy in an Age of Populism
Political Scientists and Philanthropy

Elite Philanthropy in an Age of Populism

Editors’ Note: Delphia Shanks-Booth, who is guest-editing this forum on political science and philanthropy with Sarah Reckhow, continues the discussion with a post on the potential democratizing role of elite philanthropy in an age of populism.  “I’m going to be going around the country not only to blue states…but to red states, conservative states. We’re going to … Continue reading

Is Populist Criticism of Philanthropy Justified?
Political Scientists and Philanthropy

Is Populist Criticism of Philanthropy Justified?

Editors’ Note: HistPhil‘s new forum on political science and philanthropy, guest-edited by Sarah Reckhow and Delphia Shanks-Booth, begins with Ted Lechterman‘s piece on populist critiques of elite philanthropy.   To date, elite philanthropy has suffered little blowback from the populist uprising that has toppled other political elites in the United States. Given the significant influence that philanthropists wield … Continue reading

New Forum on Political Science and Philanthropy
From the Editors / Political Scientists and Philanthropy

New Forum on Political Science and Philanthropy

Today, HistPhil begins a new forum on political science and philanthropy, curated by guest editors Sarah Reckhow and Delphia Shanks-Booth. Work from political scientists has been featured on the site in the past, from posts by Emma Saunders-Hastings and Megan Ming Francis to a more-recent discussion of political theorists Rob Reich and Chiara Cordelli’s new … Continue reading

Why Ford’s $1 Billion Commitment to Mission-Related Investments is a Big Deal–and a Risky One
From the Editors / Philanthropy in the News

Why Ford’s $1 Billion Commitment to Mission-Related Investments is a Big Deal–and a Risky One

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis weighs in on the Ford Foundation’s announcement that it will commit $1 billion over the next decade to mission-related investments. Today, the Ford Foundation announced that, over the next decade, it would direct $1 billion dollars from its $12 billion endowment to mission-related investments (MRI). As the foundation explains, … Continue reading

Gunnar Myrdal in the Latest Issue of HUMANITY
Philanthropy and Inequality

Gunnar Myrdal in the Latest Issue of HUMANITY

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey discusses the Gunnar Myrdal symposium in the latest issue of Humanity, and explains its relevance for scholars and practitioners of philanthropy. Americans generally remember Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) as the astute Swedish observer of American race relations who authored the monumental study of black Americans that had been commissioned and funded by Carnegie Corporation of … Continue reading