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Overview

Gift Relationship by Richard Morris Titmuss

Richard M. Titmuss’s The Gift Relationship has long been acknowledged as one of the classic texts on social policy. Honored by the New York Times as one of the ten most important books of the year when it first appeared in 1970, Titmuss’s The Gift Relationship is even more topical now in an age of AIDS and changing health care policy. A seemingly straightforward comparative study of blood donating in the United States and Britain, the book elegantly raises profound economic, political, and philosophical questions. Titmuss contrasts the British system of reliance on voluntary donors to the American one in which the blood supply is largely in the hands of for-profit enterprises and shows how a nonmarket system based on altruism is more effective than one that treats human blood as another commodity.

This updated edition contains the original text along with new chapters that:

  • consider the relevance of Titmuss’s arguments to the AIDS and current health care crises;
  • outline recent developments in blood donation and transfusion systems;
  • examine the systems for human milk donation; and
  • assess the response to the original edition and make the case for its continuing relevance today.
At a time when health and welfare systems are under sustained attack from many quarters, this new edition of The Gift Relationship is essential reading for everyone interested in social policy and the future of our society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565844032
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 11/01/1997
Edition description: Expanded
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author


Richard M. Titmuss was a professor of social administration at the London School of Economics form 1950 until his death in 1973. He had an international reputation as an uncompromising analyst of contemporary social policy and as an expert on the welfare state. His previous books include Commitment to Welfare. The Gift Relationship was his last book.

John Ashton is a public health specialist and regional medical officer for the Northwest of England.

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