For the Common Good?
American Civic Life and the Golden Age of Fraternity
Reviews and Awards
"This is a good book. It is dense with information, well written, logically argued, and methodologically rigorous and adds structure to arguments where it was desperately needed. Overall, Kaufman takes on some cherished myths of American association. Viewed as an essential antidote to the generally positive views of associationalism in the late nineteenth century, For the Common Good? should be readby anyone interested in association, trust, social capital, civil society, or any other form of prosocial behavior."--Social Forces
"...a man on a mission. Dissenting from Alexis de Tocqueville and Robert Putnam, [Kaufman] examines the dark side of American voluntary associations...Kaufman carefully chronicles the development of a wide array of associations, including volunteer fire companies, business associations, shooting clubs, and, most especially, fraternal societies...He raises many challenging questions that other scholars have failed to ask. A copy of For the Common Good? should be on the shelf of any specialist in the history of American voluntary associations."--EH.NET
"An important and readable book that raises essential questions about democracy in the United States and its past and future."--Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
"Stimulating and original"--Library Journal, starred selection
"Jason Kaufman is a man on a mission. Dissenting from Alexis de Tocqueville and Robert Putnam, he examines the dark side of American voluntary associations... [his] research is diligent and he draws extensively and creatively from primary sourcesraises many challenging questions that other scholars fail to ask."--EH.NET