In the early 19th century, the noted French historian and political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, published his classic treatise, “Democracy in America.” In one of the earliest studies of the American experiment in democracy, he marveled at the role voluntary action and philanthropy had played in building and sustaining education, religion and other vital components of the fledgling society. Over the nearly 200 years since de Tocqueville’s commentaries, the United ...

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