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Martine Craythorn has a problem: she's rich. But her inheritance hardly comforts her--in fact, she sees it as an impediment to her ultimate aim in life, which is to live the life of a good person. Set in 1987, when greed was good, nouvelle cuisine tasted new, and the stock market seemed unstoppable, Alms is an entertaining yet penetrating examination of Martine's troubled relationship to selflessness. In a world where money and self-fulfillment dominate, and unpaid service to others is considered hopelessly eccentric, how can she live a good life? What does it mean to be helpful? Is altruism only another form of selfishness--and does it really matter?… (more)

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Martine Craythorn has a problem: she's rich. But her inheritance hardly comforts her--in fact, she sees it as an impediment to her ultimate aim in life, which is to live the life of a good person. Set in 1987, when greed was good, nouvelle cuisine tasted new, and the stock market seemed unstoppable, Alms is an entertaining yet penetrating examination of Martine's troubled relationship to selflessness. In a world where money and self-fulfillment dominate, and unpaid service to others is considered hopelessly eccentric, how can she live a good life? What does it mean to be helpful? Is altruism only another form of selfishness--and does it really matter?

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