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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
Professor Zunz has offered up a very valuable contribution to the history of American philanthropy. From roots to present, he has shown that the American experience and the role of philanthropy are inseparable. More than for almost any other modern society, philanthropy has defined politics, culture and foreign policy for America in unique ways. Mr. Zunz takes us on that journey and provides great insights. For me, the book is closer to a textbook than a general read. The legal and bureaucratic machinations along the way are interesting but I would have been very attracted to a more philosophical and cultural perspective. As one who believes that American ideas about philanthropy have had permanent influence on the global aid and development process, a bit more on this aspect of the issue would have been great reading as well.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
Nonprofit clients generally only want to know what they can or cannot do. They seldom ask about the history which often explains current nonprofit laws and practices. However, understanding the history of modern philanthropy is invaluable for providing context.

Philanthropy in America: A History provides the nonprofit practitioner with a history and framework for how American philanthropy evolved during the 20th century. Written by Olivier Zunz who is the Commonwealth Professor of History at the University of Virginia, the book ...

See The Nonprofit Mentor for the complete review.
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on June 29, 2015
Best book I have read this year. Beautifully written; an amazing account of the cultural roots that have made the United States one of the most generous and caring nations in the world. A must read.
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on December 5, 2014
excellent piece of scholarship
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