From Library Journal
Charles (history, North Central Coll., Ill.) explores how indispensable these service clubs were for middle-class businessmen and professionals adjusting to economic and social transformations caused by corporate capitalism. The author focuses on the formative years, 1900 to 1940, of the Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions, when they "comprised 90 percent of the total service club membership." He asserts that these clubs became popular when community service was a middle-class ideal. In his examination, Charles touches upon such topics as ridicule from social critics (e.g., H.L. Mencken), the Great Depression, and race and gender. Graduate history students will benefit most from this book, which is based on Charles's dissertation. Recommended for academic and research libraries.- Charles L. Lumpkins, Bloomsburg Univ. Lib., Pa.
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