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The Philanthropic Revolution: An Alternative History of American Charity (Radical Conservatisms)

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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  4 reviews
When we talk about voluntary giving today, we usually prefer the word philanthropy to charity. Why has this terminological shift taken place? What is its philosophical significance? How did philanthropy come to acquire so much prestige—and charity come to seem so old-fashioned? Was this change contested? Does it matter?

In The Philanthropic Revolution, Jeremy Beer argues th
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Hardcover, 134 pages
Published May 7th 2015 by University of Pennsylvania Press
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Tim Hoiland
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: development
Not too long ago, a disgruntled aid worker took to The Guardian to air some grievances about the unwillingness or inability of international humanitarian organizations to properly measure the effectiveness of their work.

“NGOs that are unable or unwilling to provide strong evidence of the impact they are having are, at best, a considerable waste of time and money,” the anonymous aid worker wrote. “What seems a lot more certain is that many NGOs are continuing to provide noble career paths and sel
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Jonathan
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I went into this book expecting to agree with some of it and disagree with some (if not a lot of it). My expectation was right--because I come at the issue from a different ideological perspective than the author--but I still found it valuable to read and would recommend it as a book to engage with. We all need intellectual sparring partners, for how else do we sharpen our own opinions?

I agree with Beer that there are major problems with contemporary philanthropy. We would probably both agree t
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The American Conservative
If words always had stable meaning, there wouldn’t be much difference between philanthropy and charity. “Philanthropy” comes from the Greek for “love of humanity.” “Charity” comes from the Latin for “affection,” love of fellow man. Those who grew up with the King James Version of the Bible may know that its translators sometimes followed the Vulgate use of caritas as a Latin translation of the Greek word agape, rendering passages such as 1 Corinthians 13 as “charity” in the sense of “love.”

We li
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Mark Seeley
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a short but fascinating book. It is a historical analysis of how charity, rightly understood, became secularized into philanthropy. The author demonstrates how philanthropy broke away from the theistic underpinnings of charity and became more of a "love of solving social problems" rather than a love or care of man. Divorced from that starting point, philanthropy eventually lead to eugenics and other mistaken solutions to social problems. Protestants will take issue with the author's Cath ...more
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I am a principal partner at American Philanthropic, a consulting firm, and chairman of the board at the American Ideas Institute, publisher of The American Conservative magazine and website. I am an Indiana native who like so many other Hoosiers lives in Arizona. My biography of Negro Leagues legend Oscar Charleston was published on November 1, 2019, by the University of Nebraska Press.

My next pr
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