The Largest Amount of Good is the first full account of Quaker relief operations in Ireland and of the evolution of the Quakers' thinking on the purposes and limitations of philanthropy and the responsibility of the state in disaster. Helen Hatton describes how the Quakers rejected orthodox economic and philanthropic theory and, without seeking profit for themselves, provided grants and unguaranteed loans to develop and revitalize Irish agriculture, fisheries, and industry. They also used publicity and political pressure to push for reform of the land-holding system. Although the power of the landowners was too entrenched to be overcome entirely, the Quakers' contribution to Ireland, Hatton demonstrates, is unquestionable. The growth of the Quaker relief service, from mutual help in the seventeenth century to an institution of international standing, has been accompanied by the gradual embodiment of their principles in the direction of the Society. Their work in the Great Irish Famine marked a turning point at which the procedures they had evolved inchoately over two centuries were formulated into a methodology that is accepted today as the basis for relief and Third World development.