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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 11, 2004

UI Law Professor Compiles Nonprofit Bibliography For Press Association

University of Iowa law professor Mark Sidel has compiled a list of the most informative scholarly books about philanthropy and nonprofit organizations for an Association of American University Presses web site that helps the media and the public learn more about issues in the news.

Sidel, a specialist in philanthropy and nonprofit law, drew up the nonprofit and philanthropy section of the AAUP's Books for Understanding Web site. The site provides information on books published by academic presses that provide background on a wide array of current affairs issues. 

The list was created initially in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and included books and scholarship that ranged from the construction and design of the World Trade Center towers to the history of the Taliban. Since then, its list of topics has expanded to include such headline-grabbing issues as Afghanistan, business ethics, Israel and Palestine, Sudan and Ronald Reagan.

Sidel said philanthropy and non-profits were considered for Books for Understanding because of their place in American society and our economy.

"Many people don't realize the sector's diversity and importance to American life," he said. "It's critical to social services, schools and health care, among other fields." 

Sidel said he attempted to create as broad and internationally comprehensive list as possible. One of the key controversies addressed is the accountability of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Issues such as the misappropriation of funds, overcompensation, lack of accountability to recipients and donors, and lack of board inclusion in decision-making are discussed in some of the books he selected.

The Books for Understanding Web site provides a short summary of each book and a link to the press that published it so visitors can purchase it directly.  Sidel's bibliography and others on the site may be accessed at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,