Jane Adams: Twenty Years at Hull-House (Illustrated and Unabridged)
by Jane Addams
"20 Years at Hull House" by Jane Addams is a surprisingly compelling book, free of the ethnic racism and stereotyping that blight many similar works ... Show synopsis "20 Years at Hull House" by Jane Addams is a surprisingly compelling book, free of the ethnic racism and stereotyping that blight many similar works of her 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. Jane Addams came from a conventional Middle American milieu, but was radicalized by seeing the ravages of the Industrial Revolution both in Britain and Chicago. This timeless memoir of the years 1889-1909 documents her wide-ranging concerns, embracing public health, pacifism and feminism as well as philanthropy, working-class education and poverty alleviation. Many of the ideas implemented by Addams in her "20 Years at Hull House" decades ahead of their time. While not light reading, this classic contains many gripping portraits of the desperation of immigrant life and the simple power of human decency. More than that, "20 Years at Hull-House" has inspired generations of US social and political activists. For decades a Hull House sojourn, or at least a visit, was virtually a pilgrimage for all kinds of progressive reformers. While Addams's reputation was damaged by her antiwar stance during World War I, it recovered enough for her to win the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize.