This is the history of good works, philanthropy and reform in New England- specifically Boston- over a period of 100 years. The author seems to feel that this ""plant that flourished greenly"" is on the verge of withering away. He writes in detail of the reform movements in the areas,- Protestant, Catholic and Jewish- of the city bringing out the parts played by such figures as John Boyle O'Reilly, Edward Everett Hale and others less well known. A plea for humanitarianism and liberalism, this is a timely book, in a rather limited field. Its appeal will rest mainly on the market of sociologists, scholars, social workers.