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The Education of Jane Addams (Politics and Culture in Modern America) Hardcover – October 29, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Excellent. . . . Focused on the years between Addams's birth in 1860 and her emergence as the most widely acclaimed leader of the social settlement movement in the United States in the mid 1890s, The Education of Jane Addams provides a detailed, wonderfully complex analysis of Addams's ideas, life, and work."—Journal of American History



"A remarkably perceptive account of how the devoted daughter of a well-to-do mill owner and banker in a small Midwestern town became a heroic advocate for working-class residents of the city perhaps most identified in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with industrialism and labor strife."—Iowa Heritage Illustrated



"The brilliance of Brown's The Education of Jane Addams is that Brown asks how Jane Addams became the Jane Addams of the litany of accomplishments."—Women's Review of Books



"A rich contribution. . . . Essential."—Choice

About the Author

Victoria Bissell Brown is Associate Professor of History at Grinnell College.
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Product Details

  • Series: Politics and Culture in Modern America
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (October 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812237471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812237474
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,840,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This clear and accessible biography offers an intriguing examination of Jane Addams' early life and social and political ideals. The tone of affectionate even-handedness captures Addams' personality and makes her real to the reader. The book is thorough and carefully researched.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Victoria Brown has written the definitive biography of Addams to date. She takes advantage of recent discoveries and her own meticulous research to write the best intellectual biography of Addams available. Brown deals with controversial aspects of Addams life with neither the sexism of some of Addams's biographers nor the romanticization of others. Those who think they know Addams will find new insights and readers not familiar with Addams will discover one of the most important figures of the 20th century. Wonderful photographs and thorough citations.
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Format: Hardcover
Victoria Brown's book on Jane Addams is a well written 421 page book with some photos. 298 pages are text and pages 299 to 399 are notes. There is a selected bibliography and an index. I liked the photos and as mentioned the writing style. The book moves nicely. She gives credit to the work publishing the Jane Addams papers by Mary Bryan. But let us look at the title, The Education of Jane Addams. It almost mirror's the title by Gloria Dilberto, "A useful woman, the early life of Jane Addams." The Dilberto books was published in 1999.There are no new primary sources made available between the two publication dates. Dilberto writes as well as Brown and cites the sources better including Ron Beam's booklet.

But Brown is wise enough, unlike Dilberto, to note the utter complete lack of evidence pointing to a close physical relationship between Jane Addams and her intimate associates including Ellen Star and others. She wisely covers the subject in a foot note. She would be wiser still not to bring it up at all. Does the modern progressive nature of academic publishing by an academic press require a mention at all. Brown writes "[ I] must decline to define either Addams or Starr as lesbians simply because we do not have evidence of genital contact...." She then goes on for another whole single spaced page citing supposed sources about women's relationships. I sense she cut even more speculation on the topic then she printed. Such diversions might help sell the book to the faculty at Grinnell, and Oberlin but the truth of the matter is that the wildest rumor and speculation about a historical person now can be published in an academic press and passed off as history. Better to save the trees. Better to put the writing talent to romance novels.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for all of us who want to know who the great women were before our time. Jane Addams was one of them, and yet most of us know very little about her. This book will show you how she changed attitudes about the poor, the unfortunate, the immigrant by her own very strong presence, her determination, and her respect for all persons. Anyone interested in those problems today should read this inspiring book.
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