Chapman’s News & Ideas | Page 19

Eleanor Roosevelt and the New Ken Burns Series

A new series, The Roosevelts, by the celebrated documentarian, Ken Burns, will air next month (starting September 14), bringing to PBS viewers an early to mid-20th Century world that by now seems exotic. Almost everyone from those times, after all, is gone. But Burns’ evocation of those days may well have some new things to tell us about our own world. Consider Eleanor Roosevelt, who is featured in the series, along with her uncle, Theodore Roosevelt, and her husband (and distant cousin), Franklin. Mrs. Roosevelt is famous for her role as a first lady with a public life that buttressed, but also went beyond her husband’s. Among other unique activities, she personally wrote a daily newspaper column–“My Day”–for nearly three decades, Read More ›

Foundations that Live Up to the Billing

One of the dreariest and most familiar of stories in philanthropy is that of the sound and good person of wealth who leaves his fortune to a foundation, only to have that foundation after his death depart on adventures he probably would have opposed and certainly would not have supported. (Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur, to name a few.) A choice temptation is to use foundation dollars to campaign for government dollars. Community Foundations have a better reputation and record. State Representative (and Discovery’s director for the Chapman Fellows in Civic Leadership) writes in Philanthropy Daily about the 100th Anniversary of community foundations. There is less mission creep among community foundations than among foundations in general, though the temptations are always there. Regardless, many towns Read More ›