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By Their Bootstraps The Lives of Twelve Gilded Age Social Entrepreneurs

By Martin Morse Wooster
The Manhattan Institute 2002 ISBN: 9780972633406

About the Book

Social entrepreneurs, individuals who employ private-sector talents to meet pressing public problems, are an increasingly important part of the American landscape. Millard Fuller of Habitat for Humanity and Rev. Eugene Rivers of Boston’s Ten Point Coalition are only two of the more recognizable names in this growing movement.

Today’s social entrepreneurs follow in the footsteps of notable social entrepreneurs in our past. Visionary leaders like Clara Barton and Robert Baden-Powell started many of America’s most famous non-profits, like the American Red Cross and the Boy Scouts. In By Their Bootstraps, Martin Morse Wooster chronicles the achievements and philosophies of these 19th and 20th century pillars of philanthropic life.

Wooster shows that these men and women championed a new spirit of philanthropy devoted to the idea that individual, private action could alleviate social problems without significant government oversight and funding. This collection of short biographic sketches is offered as a reminder of the principles of these original social entrepreneurs and their tremendous potential for transforming today’s society.

About the Author

Martin Morse Wooster is a prolific writer spanning his interests from science fiction writing to philanthropy and education policy. Wooster has been a regular contributor to Capital Research Center (CRC) publications Alternatives in Philanthropy, Foundation Watch and Philanthropy, Culture and Society. Mr. Wooster is also the author of Return to Charity: Philanthropy and the Welfare State, and The Great Philanthropists and the Problem of "Donor Intent".