Giving: Charity and Philanthropy in History

Giving: Charity and Philanthropy in History

by Robert H. Bremner
     
 

"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

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Overview

"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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560001379
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/1994
Edition description:
1st pbk. ed
Pages:
235
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1The Ancient World
Prologue: The First Philanthropist3
1Classical Attitudes toward Giving and Begging5
2Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Texts on Giving and Charity11
Pt. 2Middle Ages and Early Modern Times
Prologue: A Hospital and Its Patients23
3Begging, Fund Raising, and Charity25
4Donors and Attributes of Charity35
5God and Neighbor45
Pt. 3The Eighteenth Century
Prologue: The World Is All Alike55
6The Age of Benevolence57
7Poets and Philanthropists71
8Beggars, Importunate and Long Remember'd85
Pt. 4The Nineteenth Century
Prologue: If All Were as Happy as We95
9Relief of Need99
10The Good Samaritan: Charles Dickens on Public Relief and Private Charity111
11Philanthropy and Reform121
12Love and Kindness135
Pt. 51890s to the Present
Prologue: And May Not This Be?145
13Paupers, Tramps, and Beggars147
14Modern Philanthropy and Organized Charity159
15Philanthropic Foundations and the Uses of Philanthropy in Higher Education and the Arts169
16Giving by and for the Poor185
17Current History: Stories from Life199
Bibliography213
Index229

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