Wright Explores 'First Great Charity Rainmaker' for History News Network

Augustana's Dr. Robert Wright authored an essay for the History News Network

In a new piece penned for the History News Network, Dr. Robert Wright, Augustana's Nef Chair of Political Economy, explores how Massachusetts politician Edward Everett became one of America’s first great charity rainmakers.


How One of the Great Charity Rainmakers of All Time Raised Money

By Dr. Robert Wright

Dr. Robert Wright

"Everett was a staunch supporter of the American Republic as constituted by the Founding Fathers, especially George Washington," Wright said. "It was in support of Washington’s legacy, which Everett hoped was strong enough to cement the Union together even as it was being torn apart by the slavery question, that Everett learned how to raise money, great gobs of it by the standards of his day."

"... The techniques he developed, however, live on in the hearts of tens of thousands of fundraisers for churches, charities, colleges, and [other nonprofits] across the nation and globe."

Read the full story.


About Dr. Wright

Dr. Robert Wright received his BA in history from Buffalo State College in 1990, his MA in history from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1994, and his PhD from SUNY at Buffalo in 1997. Before coming to Augustana, Dr. Wright served as Clinical Associate Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He was also a guest curator for the Museum of American Finance. Dr. Wright has written for Barron’sThe Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes.com, and other prominent publications. He has appeared on National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and BBC, as well as several South Dakota stations.

In addition to editing three series of primary source documents for Pickering and Chatto Publishers, Dr. Wright has authored or co-authored more than 20 books, most recently “Little Business on the Prairie: Entrepreneurship, Prosperity, and Challenge in South Dakota,” a study of the state’s economic history through the lenses of its public policies, politics, and institutions of governance, published by the Center for Western Studies. Other recent titles are Corporation Nation (2014) available from the University of Pennsylvania Press, Guide to U.S. Economic Policy (2014), and Genealogy of American Finance (2015). One Nation Under Debt: Hamilton; Jefferson and the History of What We Owe (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008), explores the untold history of America’s first national debt arising from the immense sums needed to conduct the American Revolution; Financial Founding Fathers (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), is a compelling account of the nation’s early finances; and Fubarnomics: A Lighthearted, Serious Look at America's Economic Ills (Prometheus, 2010), has been called "a welcome new addition to the societal | economic | political discourse that is raging now.”

In 2010, Dr. Wright established the Thomas Willing Institute for the Study of Financial Markets, Institutions, and Regulations at Augustana University to promote the public’s understanding of the financial system.