The New Gilded Age (2022) : Throughline Philanthropic foundations are a fundamental part of our society: they support media, the arts, education, medical research, and more. NPR, and even this show, is supported by many personal and family foundations. But it wasn't always that way. In this episode, we go back to the beginning — the Gilded Age. We trace the birth and evolution of what many today call "big philanthropy," and ask what all this private wealth means for the public good.

The New Gilded Age (2022)

The New Gilded Age (2022)

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A cartoon captioned: &quot;History repeats itself - the robber barons of the middle ages and the robber barons of to-day.&quot; Laborers and farmers bow and offer bags of money to well dressed, fat men wearing sashes labeled &quot;war,&quot; &quot;tariff and monopoly,&quot; and &quot;trust.&quot; An inset in the upper left corner depicts medieval peasants bowing to their lords.
Library of Congress

Philanthropic foundations are a fundamental part of our society: they support media, the arts, education, medical research, and more. NPR, and even this show, is supported by many personal and family foundations. But it wasn't always that way. In this episode, we go back to the beginning — the Gilded Age. We trace the birth and evolution of what many today call "big philanthropy," and ask what all this private wealth means for the public good.