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Seeing with Their Hearts: Chicago Women and the Vision of the Good City, 1871-1933 Hardcover – September 29, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0691095394 ISBN-10: 0691095396
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Editorial Reviews


Winner of the 2003 Superior Achievement Award, Illinois State Historical Society
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2003

"An important book on activist women's perspectives on the modern city. . . . Flanagan's study will become a new model for studying urban and women's history."--Choice

"This is a well-written and illuminating study of women reformers in Chicago. . . . Flanagan clearly has done extensive work with often under-utilized sources, bringing to light the world of activist women in the early twentieth-century city."--Elizabeth Jozwiak, H-Net Reviews

"Grounded in exhaustive research. . . . Flanagan's book contributes to historiographical debates over urban development, municipal politics, and women's contribution to both. Women may have failed in their attempts to transform Chicago 'from the City of Big Shoulders into a City of Homes.' Flanagan, however, succeeds in telling us why."--Thomas Winter, Reviews in American History

"In this well-researched book with a cast of thousands, Maureen A. Flanagan accomplishes several important historiographical tasks relevant not just to Chicago history but to a larger understanding of the wellsprings of Progressive reform campaigns."--Mina Carson, Journal of American History

"[A] solid, deeply researched, and rewarded book."--Pamela Tyler, American Historical Review

From the Inside Flap

"This book is a major achievement that brilliantly weaves history and historiography into a seamless narrative of Chicago women's political activism from the Great Fire of 1871 to the New Deal. Reevaluating the ways in which we understand the roles of women in public life, it poses a provocative challenge to the field of American social history. It may become one of those pivotal books that change how we look at the history of cities, politics, race, and class."--Harold Platt, author of The Electric City

"Seeing with Their Hearts is significant as both a case study and a synthesis of current work on women's roles in Progressive politics. It forces a retelling of the standard political history of cities during the Progressive Era, showing that women activists pursued an independent agenda that must be taken into account if the era is to be understood."--Ann Keating, author of Building Chicago


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (September 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691095396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691095394
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,746,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Ann Hugo on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In doing research for a paper concerning the relief efforts after the Chicago Fire of 1871, I was led to this book in the bibliography of another book. I was interested in discovering who helped those that were not particularly assisted by the Relief and Aid Society. This book has been very helpful in seeing the role of the women of the city in the relief effort toward those who fell through the bureaucratic cracks in the system established by the Relief and Aid society. While the Society had a particular and important agenda, the women saw the needs of those around them in a more personal light. This book shows how women created organizations to try to meet the needs they saw beyond what they could do individually. It shows the women of the time wanting to make a better city.

The book is written by Maureen A. Flanagan, the department chair and professor of history at Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a leading expert on Chicago history. The book was published by Princeton University Press in 2002, so it is relatively new. The Chicago Historical Society was used heavily for the research of primary sources. This has made the bibliography in the book a great help to me in finding primary sources for my own paper.

Seeing With Their Hearts is very readable. It covers the efforts of meeting the needs of the poor in Chicago in the late 19th into the early 20th century. It would be a useful read for anyone interested in Chicago history, particularly its social history, or the history of women.
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