Jeremy Beer is a founding partner at American Philanthropic. He has published dozens of essays and articles on literary, social, and cultural issues in academic and popular journals, including Communio, First Things, Touchstone, The American Conservative, and the Utne Reader. He is the editor of America Moved: Booth Tarkington's Memoirs of Time and Place, 1869-1928 (Wipf and Stock, 2015) and coeditor of American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. His The Philanthropic Revolution: A Counter-History of American Charity will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2015.
Jeremy holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a founding editor and board member of Front Porch Republic and serves as president of the American Ideas Institute. He and his wife, Kara, live in central Phoenix, Arizona.
Read all posts published by Jeremy Beer.
Few people, it seems, give much thought to the differences between “philanthropy” and “charity,” or why it is that the former is now much the preferred term over the latter, especially among those who wish to sound serious and sophisticated. But as it turns out, historically and conceptually philanthropy and charity refer to different things—or […]
Warren Buffett, George Soros, Bill Gates, the Koch brothers, Oprah. All famous for their success in business; all famous, in part, for their philanthropy; all in league with the devil. Such, presumably, would be the judgment of the nineteenth-century Catholic philosopher Orestes Brownson, were he to arise from his eternal resting place (underneath the Basilica […]
A friend of mine posted on Facebook recently the following quote from St. John Chrysostom (347-407). It seems to me to capture well the Christian view of poverty before Christian charity was challenged, and in some ways displaced, by a more socially moralistic philanthropy a century or two ago: When you see on earth the […]
General economic prosperity is a more important driver of nonprofits’ financial health than is the charitable deduction. That is the conclusion Kimberly Dennis, the president and CEO of the Searle Freedom Trust, reaches in today’s Wall Street Journal. The article’s accompanying graphic, which I’ve pasted below, shows a surprisingly direct and consistent relationship between the […]
Last month, William Schambra — director of the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal – delivered a powerful, provocative lecture at Front Porch Republic‘s annual conference at Hope College. Schambra showed how modern philanthropy’s rise was structured around abstract, universalist ideals that prioritized dealing with “root causes” of social ills over providing […]
My review of Olivier Zunz’s Philanthropy in America: A History, is now up on The American Conservative‘s website. I think Zunz’s scholarly synthesis is impressive. All credit to him for that. But I think the story he tells is too simple, too one-sided. For example, it skips lightly over what was lost in the transition […]
Under the editorship of Jonathan Imber, the most recent issue of SOCIETY magazine features a symposium titled “The Politics of Philanthrocapitalism.” One of the most interesting contributions comes from David Bosworth, a cultural critic at the University of Washington. By focusing on the “royal status” of Bill Gates, his piece, “The Cultural Contradictions of Philanthrocapitalism,” […]
For a decade or more, the Hudson Institute’s William Schambra has been writing articles and giving lectures reminding his audience of an extraordinarily important point about the rise of professional philanthropy in the late 1800s/early 1900s. From the beginning, Schambra has emphasized, the major charitable foundations (Russell Sage, Rockefeller, etc.) and their progenitors consciously sought […]
Over at BlueKennel — a blog well worth bookmarking, by the way — Howard Ahmanson remarks on a recent WSJ article on “wealth camps” for the inheritor class, and he adds an interesting observation about the relationship between a classical Great Books education and philanthropy. Something like that would be a great thing for trustfunders, […]
There, that title should get the attention of the Citizen Anti-Religion Police (let’s just call them CARPers, eh?). Except that, if they are honest, they’ll be sorely disappointed by the open-mindedness and intellectual diversity on display in the Science of Virtues Project. The particular programs of that new Project, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation […]