Civic Gifts: A History of Voluntarism and Giving as forms of Governance
COVID-19 Pandemic / New Works in the Field

Civic Gifts: A History of Voluntarism and Giving as forms of Governance

Editors’ Note: Elisabeth S. Clemens introduces themes from her new book, Civic Gifts: Voluntarism and the Making of the American Nation-State (University of Chicago Press, 2020). Portions of this essay are adapted from the book’s introduction. As with so many crises before, the first wave of the COVID pandemic produced a schizophrenic reaction to American … Continue reading

Has Volunteering Changed in the United States? Trends, Styles, and Motivations in Historical Perspective
New Works in the Field

Has Volunteering Changed in the United States? Trends, Styles, and Motivations in Historical Perspective

Editors’ Note: Susan M. Chambré introduces her article, published in Social Service Review this June 2020, “Has Volunteering Changed in the United States? Trends, Styles, and Motivations in Historical Perspective.” Pushing back against leading scholarship on volunteering in the U.S. noting the advent of a “new volunteer workforce that is supposedly devoting smaller blocks of … Continue reading

Surplus and Colonial Charity
Forum on Waqfs / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Surplus and Colonial Charity

Editors’ Note: Launching HistPhil’s forum on waqfs, Nurfadzilah Yahaya introduces her new book, Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2020) In this presentation of Fluid Jurisdictions, Yahaya notes that: “While scholarship on the history of human generosity is haunted by discussions of altruistic ends and self-regarding motives, the specific … Continue reading

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Waqfs
Forum on Waqfs / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Introducing HistPhil’s Forum on Waqfs

Editors’ Note: This post, by HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey, introduces HistPhil’s forum on waqfs, which will be featured on this site for the next weeks. If Andrew Carnegie invented modern philanthropy, Bill Gates has become its global evangelist. For many HistPhil readers, including myself at times, this statement might not seem to be controversial. After … Continue reading

Conservative Philanthropy’s War Against Race and Gender Studies  in U.S. Higher Education
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Inequality

Conservative Philanthropy’s War Against Race and Gender Studies in U.S. Higher Education

Editors’ Note: Introducing her 2013 article, “Movement Conservatism and the Attack on Ethnic Studies,” published in Race, Ethnicity and Education, Donna J. Nicol argues that conservative philanthropy during the Culture Wars of the 1980s and 1990s targeted ethnic and gender studies because these disciplines called into question who had the right to determine what constitutes … Continue reading

The Long History of U.S. Philanthropy Abroad
New Works in the Field

The Long History of U.S. Philanthropy Abroad

Editors’ Note: Anelise Hanson Shrout introduces her recent chapter-length review of scholarship on U.S. philanthropy in the Early Republic, published in A Companion to the History of U.S. Foreign Relations: Colonial Era to the Present (ed. Christopher R.W. Dietrich) (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2020). Here, Shrout argues that: “The fact that a wide range of … Continue reading

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List
Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy and the State

Updating HistPhil’s Reading List

Editors’ Note: In response to Black Lives Matter protests, #BlackInTheIvory, and nearly daily updates of leading U.S. philanthropies, nonprofits and for-profits proclaiming their allyship to the BLM movement, we have questioned what role we should and could play here on HistPhil. As a first step, we are amplifying the published works of Black scholars both … Continue reading

Term of Abuse, Term of Praise: A History of the idea of the Philanthropist, From John Howard’s Day to our Own
New Works in the Field

Term of Abuse, Term of Praise: A History of the idea of the Philanthropist, From John Howard’s Day to our Own

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Soskis reviews The Reputation of Philanthropy Since 1750 Britain and Beyond, by Hugh Cunningham. Hugh Cunningham’s new book, The Reputation of Philanthropy Since 1750 Britain and Beyond, helps to explain two conundrums related to discussions of contemporary philanthropy. The first is why, when referring to a philanthropist, do most people instantly imagine … Continue reading

Capital and Ideology…and Philanthropy
New Works in the Field

Capital and Ideology…and Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Andrew Hart reviews Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Ideology, with a particular focus on what the book might (or might not) tell us about the relationship between philanthropy and inequality. French economist Thomas Piketty’s latest book, Capital and Ideology (Capital et idéologie, 2019), arrived in English in mid-March, when people with office jobs were … Continue reading

Rethinking Results: The Development of Outcome Evaluation in U.S. Social Work
New Works in the Field

Rethinking Results: The Development of Outcome Evaluation in U.S. Social Work

Editors’ Note: Maoz Brown details the history of outcome evaluation in the human services, summarizing an argument he recently made in the December 2019 issue of Social Service Review. The entire issue, on social work history, is worthy of attention from historians of philanthropy. It contains, for instance, important contributions on the Russell Sage Foundation-funded … Continue reading

Power, Ignorance and the New Philanthropic Enlightenment
COVID-19 Pandemic / Current Events and Philanthropy / New Works in the Field

Power, Ignorance and the New Philanthropic Enlightenment

Editors’ Note: An early critic of philanthrocapitalism and the Gates Foundation – arguing in No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (2015) that in the age of philanthrocapitalism “[g]iving more” had become “an avenue for getting more” –  Linsey McGoey introduces her newest book, The Unknowers: How Strategic … Continue reading

Information, Education, and Security as Public Goods: When Are Philanthropic Foundations the Providers of Last Resort?
New Works in the Field

Information, Education, and Security as Public Goods: When Are Philanthropic Foundations the Providers of Last Resort?

Editors’ Note: Building upon his article in the latest issue of the Journal of Latin American Studies, “La gran dama: Science Patronage, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Mexican Social Sciences in the 1940s,” Álvaro Morcillo Laiz considers U.S. foundations’ funding of education, the elaboration of statistics, and human rights activism in Latin America as producing public … Continue reading

Mission to the Missiologists: The Protestant Foreign Missionary Project and the History of Philanthropy
New Works in the Field

Mission to the Missiologists: The Protestant Foreign Missionary Project and the History of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: David A. Hollinger calls for scholars, and especially scholars of philanthropy, to engage with the history of missionaries and mission work in the United States. He makes his case in part based on his experience working on one of his  recent books, Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed … Continue reading

Broad on THE GOSPEL OF KINDNESS: ANIMAL WELFARE AND THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA (2016)
New Works in the Field

Broad on THE GOSPEL OF KINDNESS: ANIMAL WELFARE AND THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA (2016)

Editors’ Note: Garrett M. Broad reviews Janet M. Davis’s The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America (Oxford University Press, 2016). Among those who identify as members of the animal rights community in the United States, religion is rarely a motivating factor for activism. Quite the contrary, animal rights activists are … Continue reading

Donations Without Domination: Private Charity and Republican Liberty
New Works in the Field / Political Scientists and Philanthropy

Donations Without Domination: Private Charity and Republican Liberty

Editors’ Note: Robert S. Taylor introduces his “competitive model of public charity,” which he argues satisfies the imperatives of the republican intellectual tradition and which he outlined in a recent article in the Journal of Political Philosophy. Over the centuries, the republican intellectual tradition has focused on limiting domination of some citizens by others—be they … Continue reading

McCarthy on THE MOMENT OF LIFT: HOW EMPOWERING WOMEN CHANGES THE WORLD (2019)
New Works in the Field

McCarthy on THE MOMENT OF LIFT: HOW EMPOWERING WOMEN CHANGES THE WORLD (2019)

Editors’ Note: Kathleen D. McCarthy reviews Melinda Gates’s The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (New York: Flatiron Books, 2019). Melinda Gates’s The Moment of Lift, is a feminist Gospel of Wealth for the 21st century. While Andrew Carnegie’s much-cited 1889 essay, “Gospel of Wealth,” issued a clarion call to his fellow … Continue reading

World Vision and Divergences within Evangelical Humanitarianism: A Review of King’s God’s Internationalists
New Works in the Field

World Vision and Divergences within Evangelical Humanitarianism: A Review of King’s God’s Internationalists

Editors’ Note: Heather D. Curtis reviews David P. King‘s God’s Internationalists: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism. King introduced his work to HistPhil readers earlier this week. Recently, I attended a Protestant church service on “Hope Sunday.” After watching a professional video that documented the Evangelical Covenant Church’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo … Continue reading

Religion’s Role in International Relief and Development: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism
New Works in the Field

Religion’s Role in International Relief and Development: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism

Editors’ Note: David P. King discusses the history of World Vision, the subject of his new book, God’s Internationalists: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism. Heather Curtis will offer a review of the book on HistPhil later this week. In twentieth-century histories of philanthropy, religion rarely makes a major appearance. Of course, almost … Continue reading

Common Enemies: Why Americans Favor Single-Disease Campaigns
New Works in the Field

Common Enemies: Why Americans Favor Single-Disease Campaigns

Editors’ Note: Rachel Best discusses the long history of single disease charitable campaigns in the United States, the subject of her new book, Common Enemies: Disease Campaigns in America (Oxford, 2019). In October, pink ribbons decorate everything from sneakers to buckets of fried chicken, and hundreds of thousands of people participate in walks or runs to … Continue reading