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Twenty Years at Hull House; with autobiographical notes Kindle Edition

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Length: 276 pages
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Editorial Reviews


At heart, Twenty Years is deeply optimistic: a book about hope and courage, about the yearning for equality and the yearning for peace. To a remarkable extent, Jane Addams' dreams were the same as our own. --The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, Gioia Diliberto

About the Author

<div><div>Victoria Bissell Brown (Ph.D., UCSD) is associate professor of history and chair of gender and women's studies at Grinnell College. She is currently writing a biography of Jane Addams and has published articles on Addams's role in the woman suffrage movement and the Pullman strike. She has also written on female socialization, particularly in Los Angeles, at the turn of the century.</div></div>

Product Details

  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1619491583
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: March 23, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TIMO4Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,519 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful By J.W.K on May 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most of the people who reviewed this book were forced to read it in college, admittedly. A couple of them openly confessed to having given up part-way through. My question: Why are you reviewing the book you haven't even read? Granted, it's not a Hollywood film, but it is perhaps one of the greatest works of the 20th century, written by an author who stands on par with Gandhi or Mother Teresa in her committment to social justice. Think about it this way: Addams' settlement house (or Hull House, as it was called) was like an ashram built in the middle of Chicago's dirtiest late 19th century slum. She was doing social work of a kind that had never been done before - working with immigrants, single mothers, orphins, troubled youth and the unemployed. The scope of her sociological experience has never been matched. Politically, Addams was an advocate for the abolition of war, and these views not only secured her the Nobel Prize, but also a black-listing with the House of Un-American Activities. I don't see what is not to like about this book. It is autobiographical in the strict sense of the term, but Addams was larger than life. If you are even vaguely interested in ethics, social work, sociology, social justice, or democracy, Addams' story will inspire and amaze you. Her life was a paradigmn of exellence. It was a life that will inspire you to achieve greatness yourself. I cannot over-recommend familiarizing yourself with this figure, and 20 Years at Hull House is the best place to start.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 1998
Format: Library Binding
Though Addams' prose often gets mired in the florid and highly mannered style of her era, this is a surprisingly compelling book. Free of the ethnic racism and stereotyping that blight many similar works of the era, Addams' account of her groundbreaking community center in one of the worst parts of late 19th-century Chicago fairly overflows with compassion and almost unbelievable fairness. Addams's intelligence is evident, and many of her ideas and attitudes seem decades ahead of their time. It's not light reading by any stretch of the imagination, but "Twenty Years at Hull House" contains many gripping portraits of the desperation of immigrant life and the simple power of human decency.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on September 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like many of her fellow "Progressives," Jane Addams was born in the midwest and received an exceptional scholastic and religious education. She was strongly devoted to her father and shared with him a reverence for Abraham Lincoln not just as a man, but as a living ideal against which all men should measure their ideas and actions. Typical of many reformers of her era, Addams was not attracted to evangelical duty. Missionary work left her with a sense of futile detachment from the wretched social conditions she witnessed in East London. After visiting Toynbee Hall, Addams decided to establish a similar settlement house in the rapidly-growing city of Chicago, where "the evil and vices of American life seemed to be exaggerated." Her experiences at this settlement house are the subject of this book.
Although, on the one hand, Addams seemed the typical Progressive; on the other hand she did not follow many of the ideas of the more radical reformers. She was very practical and refused to be swayed by the claims of certain social movements and untried panaceas. she did not become a socialist. Although she greatly admired Tolstoy, she found his message "confused and contradictory" and doubted its suitability to the situation in Chicago. She deplored any violent tactics associated with socialist and anarchist groups despite their "noble motives." Addams demostrated an understanding of the ways in which strikes had a detrimental effect on people outside the labor movement (her dying sister was unable to see her family because the transportation system was blocked due to the Pullman strike. Unlike most reformers, she also had respect for the immigrant cultures represented at Hull House.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By on December 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Twenty Years at Hull House is an outstanding example of the humanitarianism movement in America at the turn of the century. Jane Addams, the author and narrator of the book, was born in Illinois. Early in her life she began to see the effects of poverty on people. She recalls one incident early in her life of seeing a homeless man on the street. She asked her father why that was, and he replied that that was just the way things were. Her father was a Quaker and the most prominate role model in Jane's life. As a child she grew up wanting to be just like him. For a while, she aspired to be a mill owner just like him. Her mother is not mentioned in the book at all. Jane went to Rockford College and soon toured London. It was there that she came up with the idea of the Hull House. Hull House was a settlement house in Chicago. It offered day care and college level classes for women. Spawning from her work at the house, Jane joined many causes that she passionately fought for. These causes included working hours for women, child labor laws, and juivenile court. She could be considered an early feminist. Also from her work at Hull House, Jane started studing the causes of poverty and the effects it had on society. She was not satisfied with just the success of her house; she wanted to know why there was a need for it at all. Later in her life she joined the womens sufferage movement. Jane Addams was a wonderful reformist and feminist that sought to better the country. Twenty Years at Hull House offer insight into one of America' most interesting time periods.
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