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The Orphan Trains: Placing Out in America (Bison Book) Paperback – February 1, 1994
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Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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- Charles C. Hay III, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Archives, Richmond
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I particularly enjoyed the author's discussion of how child rearing views were changing during this time in American history. It was fascinating to read because it clearly paves the way for why the "placing out" of these children was seen as such an excellent idea. Shipping these children off to other parts of the country seemed completely justifiable when one considers the alternative facing these children. Indeed, the idea of "placing out" isn't so bad considering what happens to so many young children now raised in poverty in the ghettos of this nation.
The United States was not the first country to come up with the idea of placing out. Holt points out that other countries also used this idea for "getting rid" of the impoverished. In this country, however, placing out definitely was a movement that started with well meaning motives. The idea was to salvage these often abandoned, neglected impoverished children and send them to good homes in the West where, coincidentally, their labor was also often needed.
Holt's discussion of this event is just extremely well presented. She is factual and not judgmental. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who's interested in societal changes. From this episode in history came the beginnings of social work. It also raises interesting questions about how children are dealt with nowadays where they are often left with birth parents to the extreme detriment of the child. It makes placing out seem rather desirable.
I found the question of indenture status of the children very interesting. The book contains instances of indenture, adoption and more often neither. Legal status seems to have been very nebulous. It was never institutionalized, which may have been a factor in the demise of the outplacement movement.
During the history of the outplacement movement, did the kids get the benefit of good homes or where they exploited as cheap labor? Holt is realistically ambivalent, giving an excellent presentation of all issues from start of the movement in about 1853 to its conclusion in 1929.
There's individual success stories as well as examples of failure and abuse. Her book is applicable to modern sociology in analysis of benefits and why did the movement stop? It examines the increasing government role in poverty mitigation after about 1929.
The sewing machine changed the garment industry in the late 19th century, creating a need for young seamstresses in both urban and rural environments. 1912 saw the first National Children's Bureau and initiation of careers in social work. There is a very interesting analysis of the reasons for the close of the movement in 1929.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book very well done. Fascinating part of history that isn't shared very much. Bookcame in good shape. Good readPublished 2 months ago by Horse Lady
What a very interesting book documenting the overall process. Well written and very well documented. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Barbara J. Oconnor Schevers