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Daughters of the Declaration

How Women Social Entrepreneurs Built the American Dream

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America’s founding fathers established an idealistic framework for a bold experiment in democratic governance. The new nation would be built on the belief that “all men are created equal, and are endowed...with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The challenge of turning these ideals into reality for all citizens was taken up by a set of exceptional American women.
Distinguished scholar and civic leader Claire Gaudiani calls these women “social entrepreneurs,” arguing that they brought the same drive and strategic intent to their pursuit of “the greater good” that their male counterparts applied to building the nation's capital markets throughout the nineteenth century. Gaudiani tells the stories of these patriotic women, and their creation of America's unique not-for-profit, or “social profit” sector. She concludes that the idealism and optimism inherent in this work provided an important asset to the increasing prosperity of the nation from its founding to the Second World War. Social entrepreneurs have defined a system of governance “by the people,” and they remain our best hope for continued moral leadership in the world.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 26, 2011 – Arguing that individual citizens’ initiatives in the voluntary not-for-profit sector have contributed as much as business entrepreneurs to America’s greatness, the authors trace the work of female civic leaders, or “social entrepreneurs,” from the Revolutionary War through the 1938 passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. American philanthropy expert Gaudiani (Generosity Unbound) and husband Burnett, a retired academic and business administrator, begin with the story of Esther Reed, the wife of a Pennsylvania governor, who published a 1778 broadsheet setting out a bold plan for national women’s fund-raising organizations that raised tens of millions in today’s dollars for the Revolutionary War effort. In 1793, a freed slave and foster mother to 48 black and white children, Catherine Ferguson used the income from baking wedding cakes to fund the nation’s first “Sabbath school,” a secular school on Sundays for child laborers that was replicated across New York City. More widely known is the case of Frances Willard, national president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, who fought a battle that changed public attitudes on alcohol abuse and its social consequences. Although the examples of strong women who were agents of change for their fellow citizens are edifying and inspirational, this social history is geared toward specialists in public policy, philanthropy, and women’s studies and will have limited appeal to lay readers.
Daughters of the Declaration
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  • $17.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Nov 08, 2011
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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