Cover: Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid, from Harvard University PressCover: Holy Humanitarians in HARDCOVER

Holy Humanitarians

American Evangelicals and Global Aid

[Curtis’s] book shows that evangelicals have always displayed a mixture of innocence and partisan zeal.—D. G. Hart, The Wall Street Journal

But how did [photographs of ‘sponsored’ children in developing countries]—not to mention the acts of transnational giving that they are intended to motivate—become so ubiquitous in American evangelical households? And how did evangelical institutions become such important players in international relief and development work in the first place? [Curtis] answers these questions and more in her brilliant new book…which shows that evangelical leadership in these realms significantly predated the tidal wave of postwar generosity that gave rise to organizations such as World Vision… [S]he underscores the urgency of ongoing moral reflection: After all, as her story makes clear, love of one’s global neighbor has sometimes come with dubious strings attached.—Heath W. Carter, Christianity Today

Provides an illuminating lens into evangelical culture at the turn of the 20th century… Curtis explores the ways in which evangelical philanthropy created and curated the images of helpless people abroad.—David C. Kirkpatrick, Marginalia

A stellar study of the popular Christian Herald and its outsized importance in the emergence of American evangelical media, philanthropy, and global engagement at the turn of the twentieth century. This is a colorful, compelling narrative.—Darren Dochuk, author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism

A remarkable achievement. Holy Humanitarians offers valuable insights into issues of domestic inequality, Christian–Muslim encounters abroad, and Americans’ ambivalent attitudes about the suffering of distant others. This thoughtful, nuanced exploration of the contradictions of humanitarian sentiment is rich and compelling.—Melani McAlister, author of The Kingdom of God Has No Borders: A Global History of American Evangelicals

A wonderfully written and powerfully insightful book that stretches and deepens our understanding of how religion helped shape America’s engagement with the world. Historians have recently explored humanitarianism and philanthropy around the turn of the twentieth century, yet Curtis shows that we’ve only just scratched the surface.—Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy

Deeply researched and cogently argued, Holy Humanitarians is a major contribution to the literature on the American missionary impulse and philanthropy. Curtis is a master stylist; her book is a model of how to write with beauty and grace.—Grant Wacker, author of America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World, by Samuel Zipp, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Samuel Zipp, author of The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World

Debates about what should be America’s role in the world are not new—neither is the slogan “America First.” So as the presidential election nears, we spoke with Samuel Zipp, whose book, The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World, is a dramatic account of the former Republican presidential nominee’s worldwide plane trip