The Age of Philanthropy

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Age of Philanthropy." The Wilson Quarterly (1976-) 21, no. 2. 1997.


Cival society” has become the rallying cry of liberals and conservatives alike, especially in the wake of the recent reform of the welfare system. The devolution of welfare to the states suggests a further devolution to local authorities, and a still further one to the unofficial but powerful institutions of civil society- families, neighborhood groups, churches, private social-work agencies, philanthropies- all those “voluntary associations” that Alexis de Tocqueville took to be the genius of American democracy.

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