As its subtitle suggests, The Perfect Gift is a collection of readings that aims to cultivate and enlighten our philanthropic imaginations. Addressing its readers as present and future philanthropists, it offers literary selections intended to help people do so in more personally satisfying and civically useful ways. Its many readings are drawn from various cultures (Eastern as well as Western), time periods (antiquity and modernity), and genres (philosophy, religion, and sociology, as well as poetry). Each text was chosen not because it is part of a canon, or because it represents a particular position or portion of humanity, but because it is especially effective in posing basic issues and offering alternative answers.
Enjoy this collection of readings from The Perfect Gift and the questions that accompany each to facilitate civic reflection.
- Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen
- Laws Concerning Gifts to the Poor
- Another Case of Ingratitude
- True and False Philanthropy
- The Gospel of Wealth
- The Eleventh
- The Gift
- The Gift of the Magi
- The Death of the Hired Man
About the Editor of The Perfect Gift
Amy A. Kass is a Senior Lecturer in the Humanities Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago. An award-winning teacher, she has for more than twenty-five years taught classic texts of literature and philosophy to college students. Looking beyond the academy, she has directed seminars nationwide to help people think about the whys and wherefores of their own civic and philanthropic activities. She is the author of two other anthologies: American Lives: Cultural Differences, Individual Distinction and Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (with Leon Kass).