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Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy : a life

by Elshtain, Jean Bethke, 1941-2013.

Format: Print Book 2002
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Northland Public Library Biography B ADDAMS
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B ADDAMS
The founder of the famed Chicago institution Hull House and first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize has for too long been misunderstood as a mere "do-gooder," argues Jean Bethke Elshtain in this eagerly anticipated new interpretation of the life and work of Jane Addams. Like her biographer, Addams (1860-1935) was a quintessential "public intellectual." Under her hand, Hull House became a cultural and intellectual center, a place where beauty was served, where University of Chicago professors lectured and debate and discussion filled the auditorium.Elshtain examines Addams's life chronologically and thematically, exploring Addams's embrace of "social feminism" and her challenge to the usual cleavage between "conservative" and "liberal"-themes Elshtain brilliantly explores in her own writings. Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy is a rich and revealing portrait of one of the most extraordinary figures in American history.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Perhaps as a consequence of the current governmental retreat from public welfare programs, there has been a notable resurgence of interest in that icon of private charity, Jane Addams, founder of Hull-House. Unlike Gioia Diliberto, who in her recent biography investigated some of the conflicts in Addams's personal development, Elshtain (Democracy on Trial; etc.), a professor of social and political ethics at the University of Chicago, undertakes to present an account of Addams's public thought grounded firmly in extensive paraphrase of her writing. Though she subtitles this volume "A Life," Elshtain is not especially interested in the details of Addams's psychological, emotional or even political development. Rather she presents her subject, to whom she is clearly devoted, as a woman who came to moral consciousness early and who acted upon that consciousness with energy and devotion in every area that she felt demanded her attention. Elshtain is at great pains to defend her heroine against modern interpretations, against, for example, the charges of cultural insensitivity leveled by Jill Ker Conway or the suggestions of lesbianism prompted by Addams's 30-year relationship with Mary Rozet Smith. As a result of the author's resolute refusal to speculate on the private Jane Addams, the woman who emerges from these pages is the familiar public figure noble, generous, empathetic but not altogether engaging and one who, despite Elshtain's best efforts, emerges as heroic but faintly irrelevant to the present. A companion volume, The Jane Addams Reader, edited by Elshtain, will be published simultaneously. 8 pages of illus. not seen by PW. (Jan. 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Addams, Jane, -- 1860-1935.
Women social reformers -- United States -- Biography.
Women social workers -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York, NY :Basic Books,2002
Language English
Description xxii, 329 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 255-318) and index.
ISBN 0465019129 (alk. paper)
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