Burden or Benefit? Imperial benevolence and its legacies (2008)

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Publishing information: 
<p><strong>Helen Gilbert and Chris Tiffin (eds)<br /> Bloomington &amp; Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, May 2008. 240pp. Paperback. ISBN 978-0-253-21960-2 </strong><strong>$22.95</strong></p>

This book examines the evolution of the ideas and practices of benevolence, chiefly in the context of British imperialism, from the late eighteenth century to the present. The editors raise philosophical questions about the relationship between benevolence and self-interest, concluding that these concepts ‘are not incompatible in the quest for a better world’. The collected essays cover more than a dozen examples of practical and theoretical benevolence, from the anti-slavery movement to modern activities such as refugee asylum, opposition to female genital mutilation and restoring the wetlands in post-Saddam Iraq. Of particular interest to Philanthropy UK readers will be Alan Lester’s chapter on British humanitarianism and Sarah Richardson’s chapter on women, philanthropy and imperialism in early nineteenth century Britain.

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