America's Voluntary Spirit: A Book of Readings

Brian O'Connell
Our voluntary sector has an enormous impact on virtually every aspect of American life. This is where we find churches, health agencies, colleges and research institutions, social service agencies, museums, performing arts groups, and a host of other not-for-profit activities. Every American interacts with this sector regularly, yet too often we are unaware of its extraordinary strength and diversity or the role it plays in our national life. In this thoughtful collection, Brian O'Connell brings together 45 selections which analyze and celebrate the sector's strengths, and variety. Contributors ranging from de Tocqueville, John D. Rockefeller, and Thoreau to Max Lerner, Erma Bombeck, and Vernon Jordan are unified in a common examination of this unique dimension of American life. O'Connell researched nearly, 1,000 selections spanning over 300 years of writing to identify those which best define and characterize the rule that philanthropy and voluntary activity play in our society.

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