Civic Work, Civic Lessons: Two Generations Reflect on Public Service


Thomas Ehrlich


Ernestine Fu

Year of Publication: 
University Press of America
202 pages

Civic Work, Civic Lessons: Two Generations Reflect on Public ServiceCivic Work, Civic Lessons explains how and why people of all ages, and particularly young people, should engage in public service as a vocation or avocation. Its authors are 57 years apart, but united in their passion for public service, which they term “civic work.” The book provides unique intergenerational perspectives. Thomas Ehrlich spent much of his career in the federal government. Ernestine Fu started a non-profit organization at an early age and then funded projects led by youth. Both have engaged in many other civic activities. An introductory chapter is followed by seven key lessons for success in civic work. Each lesson includes a section by each author. The sections by Ehrlich draw mainly on his experiences. Those by Fu draw on her civic work and that of many young volunteers whom the co-authors interviewed. The concluding chapter focuses on leveraging technologies for civic work. All profits received by the authors from the sale of this book will be donated to philanthropic organizations.

About the Authors

Thomas Ehrlich
Thomas EhrlichThomas Ehrlich has held a number of public-service positions since the administration of President John F. Kennedy. He was the first head of the Legal Services Corporation and was the director of the agency responsible for foreign-aid policy, reporting directly to President Carter. He has also served as president of Indiana University, provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and dean of Stanford Law School. He is author, co-author, or editor of fourteen other books, including Educating Citizen: Preparing America’s Undergraduates for Lives of Moral and Civic Responsibility (2003), and Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement (2007). He holds five honorary degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Ernestine Fu
Ernestine FuErnestine Fu is an undergraduate student at Stanford, where she has been admitted to the Master’s and PhD programs in engineering. She has been engaged in civic work since she was fifteen when she founded a nonprofit organization to bring music to those in need. She has served on a national corporate advisory board to fund youth civic activities. She had also worked at a venture capital firm emphasizing investments in high-tech Silicon Valley start-ups. She was chosen for the Kauffman Fellowship on entrepreneurship and is an active supporter of social entrepreneurs.

Primary Research Area:

Topic Areas:

APA Citation

Ehrlich, T., Fu, E. (2013). Civic Work, Civic Lessons: Two Generations Reflect on Public Service. (pp. 202 pages). University Press of America.

Media Mentions