Return to Charity?: Philanthropy and the Welfare State, by Martin Morse Wooster, clearly explains how the Victorian idea of charity for the poor was replaced by twentieth century social concepts of poverty and social welfare, which culminated in the “Great Society” welfare entitlement programs of the 196os. Wooster also identifies modern American conservatives who rediscovered the older idea of charity and who favor “faith-based” social service programs. Court cases permitting government assistance to faith-based groups are discussed.

Martin Morse Wooster, a Senior Fellow at Capital Research Center, received his undergraduate degree in history and philosophy from Beloit College.  He is a contributing editor of Philanthropy and a columnist for the Washington Times. He has been an associate editor of The American Enterprise, Washington editor of Reason, an associate editor of The Wilson Quarterly, and Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine. He is also the author of The Great Philanthropists and the Problem of “Donor Intent,” Return to Charity?, The Foundation Builders, and By Their Bootstraps. He has also contributed articles on the history of philanthropy to The Encyclopedia of Civil Rights, The Encyclopedia of Philanthropy, The Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era, and Notable American Philanthropists.