In the beginning of the chapter, Van slack explains the late nineteenth-century practice of "patriarchy philanthropy." This type of philanthropy was practiced by men who had gained considerable wealth during the Civil War and wanted to give back to society in a way that "promoted individual development from within" (p2). They often chose to support the building of libraries. The philanthropist saw himself as the patriarch of the library, while the community receiving the donation became his extended family, who constantly had to thank the patron for his generosity.
Initially, Carnegie operated in this same paternalistic manner, and his first library in
In response to the Tainted Money scandal, Carnegie reshaped his philanthropic practices. Carnegie increased the number of libraries he chose to sponsor and instead of choosing towns that he had a connection with and simply giving them money, he made his philanthropic efforts more business-oriented. A town needed to apply for the donation, and, after receiving their donation, they were in charge of finding a location, setting up taxes and budgeting their donation properly.
In this chslack, Van Slyck makes Carnegie out to be a philanthropic reformer; one of the sections is titled "Carnegie's Reform of American Philanthropy." Ultimately, did Carnegie truly reform American library philanthropy? Were Carnegie's so-called reforms really solutions to the issues brought up by Gladden and others? Was the money any less "tainted" (according to Gladden's argument)? And more specifically, did it need to be reformed in the first place?