Giving: Charity and Philanthropy in History

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $17.49
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 57%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $17.49   
  • New (1) from $1,004.11   
  • Used (4) from $17.49   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


"According to Greek mythology mankind's first benefactor was the Titan, Prometheus, who gave fire, previously the exclusive possession of the gods, to mortal man." With these words the esteemed scholar Robert Bremner presents the first full-fledged history of attitudes toward charity and philanthropy. Giving is a perfect complement to his earlier work The Discovery of Poverty in the United States. The word philanthropy has been translated in a variety of ways: as a loving human disposition, loving kindness, love of mankind, charity, fostering mortal man, championing mankind, and helping people. Bremner's book covers all of these meanings in rich detail.

Bremner describes the ancient world and classical attitudes toward giving and begging; Middle Ages and early modern times, emphasizing hospitals and patients and donors and attributes of charity; the eighteenth century and the age of benevolence; the nineteenth century and the growth of the concept of public relief and social policy; and a careful multiple chapter review of the twentieth century. Bremner reviews the act of giving in such comparative contexts as London, England and Kasrilevke, Russia with such figures as Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, and Sholem Aleichem, as well as the more familiar wealthy industrialist/philanthropists, forming part of the narrative.

The final chapters bring the story up to date, discussing the relationships of modem philanthropy and organized charity, and the uses of philanthropy in education and the arts. Bremner has an astonishing knowledge of the cultural context and the economic contents of philanthropy. As a result, this volume is intriguing as well as important history, written with lively style and wit. Whether the reader is a professional in the so-called "third stream" or "independent sector," or simply a citizen wondering just what the act of giving and the spirit of receiving is all about, Giving will be compelling reading.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This volume is different in that it draws almost entirely on literary sources—stories, poems, ballads, scripture, novels, plays, and essays—for the allusions that profile the cultural attitudes toward charity and philanthropy… Recommended for college, university, and professional libraries, and for those who live by the promotion of philanthropy.” —J. H. Smith, Choice
Library Journal
Bremner has been the leading American historian of philanthropy since the 1950s, and in this work he traces the changing attitudes toward charity in the Western world from the Greeks to the present. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Bremner ( The Discovery of Poverty in the United States , Transaction, 1992) traces the evolution of the uses of charity from Cicero to Carnegie in terms of the relevant social, political, and economic conditions. He examines a multitude of literary sources, ranging from Dickens to Douglas, using materials from England, France, Russia, and Italy and including material about the attitudes of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe. He explores the sources of charity in human nature, using examples that range from the establishment of the first hospital in England to the creation of the modern welfare organization. The author considers motives of donors in rendering gifts, as well as responses of the recipients. This book is an excellent sources document for those wanting to learn about notables whose writings reflect a concern for the human condition. For academic libraries.-- Arthur K. Steinberg, Livingstone Coll., Salisbury, N.C.
Traces the attitudes and practices of philanthropy from classical begging through the Medieval and early modern hospitals, 18th- century benevolence, and the rise of public relief in the 19th to the myriad manifestations throughout the world in the 20th. Novelists have a voice as well as the familiar industrialist/philanthropist. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560001379
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st pbk. ed
  • Pages: 235

Meet the Author

Robert H. Bremner is professor emeritus of history at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Among his books are American Philanthropy; The Public Good: Philanthropy and Welfare in the Civil War Period; and The Discovery of Poverty in the United States.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The Ancient World
Prologue: The First Philanthropist 3
1 Classical Attitudes toward Giving and Begging 5
2 Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts on Giving and Charity 11
Pt. 2 Middle Ages and Early Modern Times
Prologue: A Hospital and Its Patients 23
3 Begging, Fund Raising, and Charity 25
4 Donors and Attributes of Charity 35
5 God and Neighbor 45
Pt. 3 The Eighteenth Century
Prologue: The World Is All Alike 55
6 The Age of Benevolence 57
7 Poets and Philanthropists 71
8 Beggars, Importunate and Long Remember'd 85
Pt. 4 The Nineteenth Century
Prologue: If All Were as Happy as We 95
9 Relief of Need 99
10 The Good Samaritan: Charles Dickens on Public Relief and Private Charity 111
11 Philanthropy and Reform 121
12 Love and Kindness 135
Pt. 5 1890s to the Present
Prologue: And May Not This Be? 145
13 Paupers, Tramps, and Beggars 147
14 Modern Philanthropy and Organized Charity 159
15 Philanthropic Foundations and the Uses of Philanthropy in Higher Education and the Arts 169
16 Giving by and for the Poor 185
17 Current History: Stories from Life 199
Bibliography 213
Index 229
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)