Cover for AGNEW: From Charity to Social Work: Mary E. Richmond and the Creation of an American Profession. Click for larger image

From Charity to Social Work

Mary E. Richmond and the Creation of an American Profession
Awards and Recognition:

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2005.

Examination of the development of modern social work from its roots in late 19th Century charity through the 1920ís, focusing on the life and leadership of Mary E. Richmond. Highlights the important role of charity organization philosophy in the transformation from voluntary charity to professional social work.

Mary E. Richmond (1861-1928) was a contemporary of Jane Addams and an influential leader in the American charity organization movement. In this biography--the first in-depth study of Richmond's life and work--Elizabeth N. Agnew examines the contributions of this important, if hitherto under-valued, woman to the field of charity and to its development into professional social work.

Orphaned at a young age and largely self-educated, Richmond initially entered charity work as a means of self-support, but came to play a vital role in transforming philanthropy--previously seen as a voluntary expression of individual altruism--into a valid, organized profession. Her career took her from charity organization leadership in Baltimore and Philadelphia to an executive position with the prestigious Russell Sage Foundation in New York City.

Richmond's progressive civic philosophy of social work was largely informed by the social gospel movement. She strove to find practical applications of the teachings of Christianity in response to the social problems that accompanied rapid industrialization, urbanization, and poverty. At the same time, her tireless efforts and personal example as a woman created an appealing, if ambiguous, path for other professional women. A century later her legacy continues to echo in social work and welfare reform.

"Elizabeth Agnew is a wonderful stylist, and in this stimulating work she examines the life of a woman who at every turn defied the traditional stereotype of the charity worker. A significant contribution to the history of social work."--Susan Curtis, author of A Consuming Faith: The Social Gospel and Modern American Culture

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/86bzc8yr9780252028755.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Sports in Zion

Mormon Recreation, 1890-1940

Richard Ian Kimball

A Foreign Kingdom

Mormons and Polygamy in American Political Culture, 1852-1890

Christine Talbot

Quakers and Abolition

Edited by Brycchan Carey and Geoffrey Plank

Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad

The Geography of Resistance

Cheryl Janifer LaRoche

Mormon History

Ronald W. Walker, David J. Whittaker, and James B. Allen With a contribution by Armand Mauss

Collaborators for Emancipation

Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy

William F. Moore and Jane Ann Moore

A Noble Fight

African American Freemasonry and the Struggle for Democracy in America

Corey D. B. Walker

Lucretia Mott Speaks

The Essential Speeches and Sermons

Lucretia Mott Edited by Christopher Densmore, Carol Faulkner, Nancy Hewitt, and Beverly Wilson Palmer