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Female philanthropy was at the heart of transformative thinking about society and the role of individuals in the interwar period. In Britain, in the aftermath of the First World War, professionalization; the authority of the social sciences; mass democracy; internationalism; and new media sounded the future and, for many, the death knell of elite practices of benevolence. Eve Colpus tells a new story about a world in which female philanthropists reshaped personal models of charity for modern projects of social connectedness, and new forms of cultural and political encounter. Centering the stories of four remarkable British-born women - Evangeline Booth; Lettice Fisher; Emily Kinnaird; and Muriel Paget - Colpus recaptures the breadth of the social, cultural and political influence of women's philanthropy upon practices of social activism. Female Philanthropy in the Interwar World is not only a new history of women's civic agency in the interwar period, but also a study of how female philanthropists explored approaches to identification and cultural difference that emphasized friendship in relation to interwar modernity. Richly detailed, the book's perspective on women's social interventionism offers a new reading of the centrality of personal relationships to philanthropy that can inform alternative models of giving today.
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