The study of poverty and charity in Islamic history has made significant advances in recent years. Adam Sabra's book represents the first full-length treatment of the subject. By focusing on Mamluk Cairo, the author explores the attitude of medieval Muslims to poverty - why and how did they give alms - and the experience of being poor in an Islamic society. He also considers the role of pious endowments (waqfs) in providing food, education and medical care to the poor of medieval Egypt. This is a fascinating account of a world far removed from the affairs of emirs and ulama hitherto the traditional province of Mamluk studies. This trend, in conjunction with the comparisons the author affords of poverty and destitution in Europe and China during the same period, will entice a broad range of scholars from within the field and beyond.