Begun by Puritans, the American jeremiad, a rhetoric that expresses indignation and urges social change, has produced passionate and persuasive essays and speeches throughout the nation's history. Showing that black leaders have employed this verbal tradition of protest and social prophecy in a way that is specifically African American, David Howard-Pitney examines the jeremiads of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, as well as more contemporary figures such as Jesse Jackson and Alan Keyes. This revised and expanded edition demonstrates that the African American jeremiad is still vibrant, serving as a barometer of faith in America's perfectibility and hope for social justice.This new edition features: * A new chapter on Malcolm X * An updated discussion of Jesse Jackson * A new discussion of Alan Keyes
On May 19, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the appointment of Arthur Morgan (1878–1975), a water-control engineer and college president from Ohio, as the chairman of the newly created Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). With the eyes of the nation focused on the reform and recovery promised by the New Deal, Morgan remained in the national spotlight for much of the 1930s, as his visionary plans for the TVA drew both support and criticism. In this thoughtful biography, Aaron D. Purcell re-assesses Morgan’s long life and career and provides the first detailed account of his post-TVA activities and fascination with utopian writer Edward Bellamy. As Purcell demonstrates, Morgan embraced an alternative type of Progressive Era reform throughout his life which was rooted in nineteenth-century socialism, an overlooked, but important, strain in American political thought.
Purcell pinpoints Morgan’s reading of Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward while a teenager as a watershed moment in the development of his vision for building modern American society. He recounts Morgan’s early successes as an engineer, budding Progressive leader, and educational reformer; his presidency of Antioch College; and his revolutionary but contentious tenure at the TVA. After his dismissal from the TVA, Morgan wrote extensively, eventually publishing over a dozen books, including a biography of Edward Bellamy, and countless articles. He also raised money to support an experimental community in Kerala, India, sharing Mahatma Gandhi’s belief in small, self-sustaining communities cooperatively supported by persons of strong moral character. At the same time, however, Morgan retained many of his late-nineteenth century beliefs, including eugenics, as part of his societal vision. His authoritarian administrative style and moral rigidity limited his ability to attract large numbers to his community-based vision.
As Purcell demonstrates, Morgan remained an active reformer well into the second half of the twentieth century, carrying forward a vision for American reform decades after his Progressive Era contemporaries had faded into obscurity. By presenting Morgan’s life and career within the context of the larger social and cultural events of his day, this revealing biographical study offers new insight into the achievements and motivations of an important but historically neglected American reformer.
Aaron D. Purcell is director of special collections at Virginia Tech. He is the author of White Collar Radicals: TVA’s Knoxville Fifteen, the New Deal, and the McCarthy Era and Academic Archives: Managing the Next Generation of College and University Archives, Records, and Special Collections. His articles have appeared in the The American Archivist, The Journal of East Tennessee History, The Historian, and the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.
In the 1930s, the unemployed were organizing. Jobless workers felt they were “entitled" to a new kind of government protection—the protection from undeserved unemployment and the financial straits that such unemployment created. They wanted dignified forms of relief (including work relief) during the Depression, and unemployment insurance after.
Becoming Entitled artfully chronicles the emergence of this worker entitlement and the people who cultivated it. Abigail Trollinger focuses largely on Chicago after the Progressive Era, where the settlement house and labor movements both flourished. She shows how reformers joined workers and relief officials to redeem the unemployed and secure government-funded social insurance for them. Becoming Entitled also offers a critical reappraisal of New Deal social and economic changes, suggesting that the transformations of the 1930s came from reformers in the “middle,” who helped establish a limited form of entitlement for workers.
Ultimately, Trollinger highlights the achievements made by reformers working on city- and nation-wide issues. She captures the moment when some people shed the stigma that came with unemployment and demanded that the government do the same.
The most famous couple in Wisconsin politics, "Fighting Bob" La Follette and his wife, Belle Case La Follette, come to life in the pages of the newest addition to the Badger Biographies series for young readers. In an accessible format that includes historic images, a glossary of terms, and sidebars explaining political concepts, students learn about Progressive politics and reform in the early 20th century through the experiences of this pioneering couple.
The father of "Progressive politics," Bob La Follette was famous for digging in his heels when it came to reforming government corruption. He also gained a reputation for fiery speeches on the campaign trail and on the Senate floor. Belle La Follette was political in her own right. The first woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin's Law School, she was an advocate for world peace and an agitator for the women's vote. She was also Bob's most trusted political advisor. Together, the couple raised a family and fought for the changes they believed would make the world a better place.
Jane Addams was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Now Citizen, Louise W. Knight's masterful biography, reveals Addams's early development as a political activist and social philosopher. In this book we observe a powerful mind grappling with the radical ideas of her age, most notably the ever-changing meanings of democracy.
Citizen covers the first half of Addams's life, from 1860 to 1899. Knight recounts how Addams, a child of a wealthy family in rural northern Illinois, longed for a life of larger purpose. She broadened her horizons through education, reading, and travel, and, after receiving an inheritance upon her father's death, moved to Chicago in 1889 to co-found Hull House, the city's first settlement house. Citizen shows vividly what the settlement house actually was—a neighborhood center for education and social gatherings—and describes how Addams learned of the abject working conditions in American factories, the unchecked power wielded by employers, the impact of corrupt local politics on city services, and the intolerable limits placed on women by their lack of voting rights. These experiences, Knight makes clear, transformed Addams. Always a believer in democracy as an abstraction, Addams came to understand that this national ideal was also a life philosophy and a mandate for civic activism by all.
As her story unfolds, Knight astutely captures the enigmatic Addams's compassionate personality as well as her flawed human side. Written in a strong narrative voice, Citizen is an insightful portrait of the formative years of a great American leader.
“Knight’s decision to focus on Addams’s early years is a stroke of genius. We know a great deal about Jane Addams the public figure. We know relatively little about how she made the transition from the 19th century to the 20th. In Knight’s book, Jane Addams comes to life. . . . Citizen is written neither to make money nor to gain academic tenure; it is a gift, meant to enlighten and improve. Jane Addams would have understood.”—Alan Wolfe, New YorkTimes Book Review
“My only complaint about the book is that there wasn’t more of it. . . . Knight honors Addams as an American original.”—Kathleen Dalton, ChicagoTribune
In this illuminating and provocative study, Stillman provides a new understanding of the foundation of the American state.
Whether renewing a driver's license, traveling on an airplane, or just watching in fascination as a robot probes Mars, we all participate in the everyday workings of the modern administrative state. As Stillman demonstrates in this study, however, we have not, until now, fully investigated or appreciated this administrative stateÕs origins or its evolution into the entity that so affects our lives today.
Stillman reveals that this modern enterprise emerged from a complex foundation of ideas and ideals rather than as a result of a simple, rational plan or cataclysmic event, as previously contended. In fact, he finds that the basis for our current administrative state lies in the lives of the seven individuals who, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, invented its various elements.
Stillman also finds that although they lived at different times, these seven founders-George William Curtis, Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Emory Upton, Jane Addams, Frederick W. Taylor, Richard Childs, and Louis Brownlow-had much in common: all were products of intensely Protestant, small-town America, and all were motivated by strong moral idealism. Indeed, Stillman finds that state making in the United States has been a continuation of the Protestant goal to "protest and purify."
Some names are more recognizable than others, but all, through remarkable moral fervor and exceptional leadership skills, invented the administrative practices and procedures so familiar today.
Born to Slovenian peasants, Louis Adamic commanded crowds, met with FDR and Truman, and built a prolific career as an author and journalist. Behind the scenes, he played a leading role in a coalition of black intellectuals and writers, working class militants, ethnic activists, and others that worked for a multiethnic America and against fascism. John Enyeart restores Adamic's life to the narrative of American history. Dogged and energetic, Adamic championed causes that ranged from ethnic and racial equality to worker's rights to anticolonialism. Adamic defied the consensus that equated being American with Anglo-Protestant culture. Instead, he insisted newcomers and their ideas kept the American identity in a state of dynamism that pushed it from strength to strength. In time, Adamic's views put him at odds with an establishment dedicated to cold war aggression and white supremacy. He increasingly fought smear campaigns and the distortion of his views--both of which continued after his probable murder in 1951.
Each One Teach One chronicles Ron Casanova's struggle out of poverty, homelessness, and drug addiction to find dignity and purpose in life. Through his own awakening, this Black, Puerto Rican activist ultimately finds his answer in helping other people. Born into a dysfunctional family and placed in an orphanage on Staten Island at an early age, Casanova faced overwhelming odds. His story illuminates some of the major events of our time, including the "police riot" at Tompkins Square, the "Housing Now" march of the homeless on Washington, and community takeovers of housing in Kansas City, New York, and Philadelphia.
Underlying Each One Teach One, with its vivid cast of characters and intimate descriptions of Harlem and other urban areas, is the profound sense that no matter what your circumstance, you can use your past experience to help others. Ultimately, Casanova's story is a message of hope for the future and for the possibility of self-sufficiency and self-empowerment for each individual.
Elizabeth Packard's story is one of courage and accomplishment in the face of injustice and heartbreak. In 1860, her husband, a strong-willed Calvinist minister, committed her to an Illinois insane asylum in an effort to protect their six children and his church from what he considered her heretical religious ideas.
Upon her release three years later (as her husband sought to return her to an asylum), Packard obtained a jury trial and was declared sane. Before the trial ended, however, her husband sold their home and left for Massachusetts with their young children and her personal property. His actions were perfectly legal under Illinois and Massachusetts law; Packard had no legal recourse by which to recover her children and property.
This experience in the legal system, along with her experience as an asylum patient, launched Packard into a career as an advocate for the civil rights of married women and the mentally ill. She wrote numerous books and lobbied legislatures literally from coast to coast advocating more stringent commitment laws, protections for the rights of asylum patients, and laws to give married women equal rights in matters of child custody, property, and earnings. Despite strong opposition from the psychiatric community, Packard's laws were passed in state after state, with lasting impact on commitment and care of the mentally ill in the United States.
Packard's life demonstrates how dissonant streams of American social and intellectual history led to conflict between the freethinking Packard, her Calvinist husband, her asylum doctor, and America's fledgling psychiatric profession. It is this conflict--along with her personal battle to transcend the stigma of insanity and regain custody of her children--that makes Elizabeth Packard's story both forceful and compelling.
To her contemporaries Amy Brown Lyman was a leader, admired for her dynamic personality, her inspiring public addresses, and especially for her remarkable vision of what Mormon women in the Relief Society could achieve. Yet today her name is barely known. This volume brings her work to light, showing how the accomplishments of Lyman and her peers benefitted their own and subsequent generations.
Placing Lyman’s story within a local and national context, award-winning author Dave Hall examines the roots and trajectory of Mormon women’s activism. Born into a polygamist family, Lyman entered the larger sphere of public life at the time when the practice of polygamy was ending and Mormonism had begun assimilating mainstream trends. The book follows her life as she prepared for a career, married, and sought meaning in a rapidly changing society. It recounts her involvement in the Relief Society, the Mormon women’s charity group that she led for many years and sought to transform into a force for social welfare, and it considers the influence of her connections with national and international women’s organizations. The final period of Lyman’s life, in which she resigned from the Relief Society amidst personal tragedy, offers insight into the reasons Mormon women abandoned their activist heritage for a more conservative role, a stance that is again evolving.
Winner of the Mormon History Association's Best First Book Award.
The eyes of the country frequently turned to Chicago during the 1890s as the Windy City struggled with the promises and challenges of urban democracy. Americans of all classes feared the social dislocations and economic divisions of urbanization and industrialization, and the effects of political corruption and massive immigration on democratic politics. Yet many reformers were hopeful that new forms of social knowledge and urban reform could reinvigorate democracy. They saw the moment as one of great possibility.
A Fatal Drifting Apart: Democratic Social Knowledge and Chicago Reform explores the efforts of diverse groups within Chicago during the Progressive Era. This backdrop of industrialization, emerging classes, and ethnic and racial pluralism frequently riven with class conflict set the stage on which Chicago reformers took up the seemingly impossible challenge of enacting democracy. Laura M. Westhoff examines historic events and well-known individuals of the period and brings them together in an unusual framework that offers a new perspective on the reorientation of knowledge, civic identity, and democratic culture at the dawn of the twentieth century, which she terms democratic social knowledge. The book raises important questions that continue to resonate: In a democracy, who has the power to define social problems and offer solutions, and whose experience and knowledge are seen as legitimate?
In one case a local judge declared a five-year-old sexual assault victim
a "particularly promiscuous young lady." In another, an innocent
black man died in police custody. In these cases and two others, outraged
citizens banded together to protest and seek redress for the injustices.
Through in-depth interviews with activists, Laura Woliver examines these
community actions, studying the groups involved and linking her conclusions
to larger questions of political power and the impact of social movements.
Her findings will make fascinating reading for those interested in the
rise and fall of grass-roots interest groups, the nature of dissent, and
the reasons why people volunteer countless hours, sometimes in the face
of community opposition and isolation, to dedicate themselves to a cause.
The ad hoc interest groups studied are the Committee to Recall Judge
Archie Simonson (Madison), the Coalition for Justice for Ernest Lacy (Milwaukee),
Concerned Citizens for Children (Grant County, Wisconsin), and Citizens
Taking Action (Madison). Woliver relates the community responses in these
cases to those in the Jeffrey Dahmer mass murder case and the beating
by Los Angeles police of Rodney King.
"A pioneering investigation of local, ad hoc interest groups that
are launched by a blatant injustice. . . . Explores the impressive defensive
capabilities against change of established social groups and portrays
the complex consequences of 'sputtering interests' for attitudes (such
as consciousness raising), for action, and for future policy. An important
and innovative contribution."
-- Mary Edelman, author of The Symbolic Uses of Politics
"A truly humanistic piece of social science research, offering fascinating
insights on grassroots participants, their feelings, and their fates."
-- Janet K. Boles, author of American Feminism: New Issues for a Mature Movement
In Glorying in Tribulation, Stetson presents a new dimension of Sojourner Truth's character. Much of the information regarding this oft-quoted African American woman is either the stuff of legend or is in dispute. This important new biography takes both legend and fact and sets them into a larger historical context. The authors utilize archival sources, and other forms of direct and indirect evidence to create a better understanding of Truth. We see her victories as well as her defeats--we see her as a real person. Truth comes alive in the pages of this book through her poignant, prophetic words and we realize that what she spoke of in the nineteenth century is just as relevant to us today. Glorying in Tribulation offers students, scholars, and teachers of American history and culture studies a comprehensive look and a new perspective on Truth's contribution to American history. It is a long-overdue, exciting interpretation of the meaning of Sojourner Truth's life.
A shrewd observer of 19th-century America, Harriet Hanson Robinson’s participation in important events and her salty comments, preserved and recorded in the poetry and books she wrote during her lifetime, offer a dramatic account of how one strong-minded woman, who first worked as a textile worker in the industrial town of Lowell, MA, turned to writing and politics to sustain her family after her husband’s early death. Harriet’s personal papers shed light on such topics as labor history, state politics, and the mechanics of writing and publication. Her best-known publications, Loom and Spindle, which deals with early factory life, and Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement, are often quoted today.
Biography of a forgotten poet who used his name and influence to speak up for those on the margins of society.
Few surnames resonate in American history more than Beecher. The family’s abolitionist ministers, educators, and writers are central figures in the historical narrative of the United States. The Beechers’ influence was greatest in the nineteenth century, but the family story continued—albeit with less public attention—with a descendant who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, during the early twentieth century.
John Beecher (1904–1980) never had the public prominence of his famous ancestors, but as a poet, professor, sociologist, New Deal administrator, journalist, and civil rights activist, he spent his life fighting for the voiceless and oppressed with a distinct moral sensibility that reflected his self-identification as the twentieth-century torchbearer for his famous family. While John Beecher had many vocations in his lifetime, he always considered himself a poet and a teacher. Some critics have compared the populist elements of Beecher’s poetry to the work of Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg, but his writing never gained a broad audience or critical acclaim during his lifetime.
In Here I Stand:The Life and Legacy of John Beecher, Angela J. Smith examines Beecher’s writing and activism and places them in the broader context of American culture at pivotal points in the twentieth century. Employing his extensive letters, articles, unpublished poetry and prose, and audio interviews in addition to his numerous published books, Smith uncovers a record of public concerns in American history ranging from the plight of workers in 1920s steel mills to sharecroppers’ struggles during the Depression to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Hilda Satt Polacheck's family emigrated from Poland to Chicago in 1892, bringing their old-world Jewish traditions with them into the Industrial Age. Throughout her career as a writer and activist, Polacheck (1882-1967) never forgot the immigrant neighborhoods, the markets, and the scents and sounds of Chicago's West Side. Here, in charming and colorful prose, she recounts her introduction to American life and the Hull-House community, her friendship with Jane Addams, her marriage, her support of civil rights, woman suffrage, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and her experiences as a writer for the WPA.
Impure Migration investigates the period from the 1890s until the 1930s, when prostitution was a legal institution in Argentina and the international community knew its capital city Buenos Aires as the center of the sex industry. At the same time, pogroms and anti-Semitic discrimination left thousands of Eastern European Jewish people displaced, without the resources required to immigrate. For many Jewish women, participation in prostitution was one of very few ways they could escape the limited options in their home countries, and Jewish men facilitate their transit and the organization of their work and social lives. Instead of marginalizing this story or reading it as a degrading chapter in Latin American Jewish history, Impure Migration interrogates a complicated social landscape to reveal that sex work is in fact a critical part of the histories of migration, labor, race, and sexuality.
Jane Addams in the Classroom
Edited by David Schaafsma University of Illinois Press, 2014 Library of Congress LB875.A332J36 2014 | Dewey Decimal 306.432
Once intent on being good to people, Jane Addams later dedicated herself to the idea of being good with people, establishing mutually-responsive and reciprocal relationships with those she served at Hull House. The essays in Jane Addams in the Classroom explore how Addams's life, work, and philosophy provide invaluable lessons for teachers seeking connection with their students.
Balancing theoretical and practical considerations, the collection examines Addams's emphasis on listening to and learning from those around her and encourages contemporary educators to connect with students through innovative projects and teaching methods. In the first essays, Addams scholars lay out how her narratives drew on experience, history, and story to explicate theories she intended as guides to practice. Six teacher-scholars then establish Addams's ongoing relevance by connecting her principles to exciting events in their own classrooms. An examination of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and a fictional essay on Addams's work and ideas round out the volume.
Accessible and wide-ranging, Jane Addams in the Classroom offers inspiration for educators while adding to the ongoing reconsideration of Addams's contributions to American thought.
"If I had my life to live over, I would do it all again, but this time I would be nastier."
—Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973)
Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, stands tall among American icons. The representative from Montana won her seat at a time when women didn't have the right to vote in most states. Her firm stances inspired both admiration and fury across party lines, and she gained nearly canonical status among feminists and pacifists. In Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman, James Lopach and Jean Luckowski demythologize Rankin, showing her to be a talented, driven, and deeply divided woman.
Until now, no biography has explored Rankin's inconsistencies. The authors extensively consulted the correspondence of her family members and contemporaries, uncovering ties between her politics and her familial and personal relationships. They reveal how she succeeded through her wealthy brother's influence as well as her own extraordinary efforts; how she drew inspiration not from her rural roots but from the radical hotbed of Greenwich Village; and how she championed an independent, woman-centered life while deferring to family.
Revealing her complexities along with her accomplishments, Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman will be the definitive biography of this path-breaking politician for years to come.
Leaders of the Mexican American Generation explores the lives of a wide range of influential members of the US Mexican American community between 1920 and 1965 who paved the way for major changes in their social, political, and economic status within the United States.
Including feminist Alice Dickerson Montemayor, to San Antonio attorney Gus García, and labor activist and scholar Ernesto Galarza, the subjects of these biographies include some of the most prominent idealists and actors of the time. Whether debating in a court of law, writing for a major newspaper, producing reports for governmental agencies, organizing workers, holding public office, or otherwise shaping space for the Mexican American identity in the United States, these subjects embody the core values and diversity of their generation.
More than a chronicle of personalities who left their mark on Mexican American history, Leaders of the Mexican American Generation cements these individuals as major players in the history of activism and civil rights in the United States. It is a rich collection of historical biographies that will enlighten and enliven our understanding of Mexican American history.
Remembered as an era of peace and prosperity, turn-of-the-millennium America was also a time of mass protest. But the political demands of the marchers seemed secondary to an urgent desire for renewal and restoration felt by people from all walks of life. Drawing on thousands of personal testimonies, Deborah Gray White explores how Americans sought better ways of living in, and dealing with, a rapidly changing world. From the Million Man, Million Woman, and Million Mom Marches to the Promise Keepers and LGBT protests, White reveals a people lost in their own country. Mass gatherings offered a chance to bond with like-minded others against a relentless tide of loneliness and isolation. By participating, individuals opened a door to self-discovery that energized their quests for order, autonomy, personal meaning, and fellowship in a society that seemed hostile to such deeper human needs. Moving forward in time, White also shows what marchers found out about themselves and those gathered around them. The result is an eye-opening reconsideration of a defining time in contemporary America.
Banks failed, inequality grew, people were out of work, and slavery threatened to rend the nation in two. The Panic of 1837 drew forth reformers who, animated by self-reliance, became prophets of a new moral order that would make America great again. Philip Gura captures a Romantic moment that was soon overtaken by civil war and postwar pragmatism.
A spirited reevaluation of the public moralists who shaped public policy in nineteenth-century America, Mugwumps: Public Moralists of the Gilded Age provides a refreshing look at a group of Americans whose importance to the history of our country has commonly been dismissed.
A public interest group that labeled the generation following the American Civil War as the "Gilded Age," Mugwumps were college-educated individuals who lived the lessons of their moral philosophy—Christian values, republican virtue, and classical liberalism. Tracing Mugwump values back before the term was commonly used, Tucker defines these liberals as benevolent and altruistic, active campaigners against slavery and imperialism, and for sound money, lower tariffs, and civil service reform. The earliest Mugwumps took on the self-assigned task of advocating public principles over private interests.
Evaluations of these public moralists during the 1950s and 1960s, however, did not paint the Mugwumps in so positive a light. Awash in the popular New Deal public policies that advocated positive government intervention and regulation in the economy, these studies dismissed Mugwump liberalism as outdated. More specifically, the reformers were criticized as being self-interested failures.
Tucker obliges readers to look beyond such dismissals to the history and accomplishments of Mugwumps as a whole. Unlike previous historians, Tucker examines the antebellum roots of the Mugwumps and follows their ever-increasing participation in American government throughout the nineteenth century. Tucker portrays Mugwumps not as selfish agents of the middle class but as fascinating practitioners of eighteenth-century public virtue and nineteenth-century social science.
This book forcefully challenges previous studies on the Mugwumps and restores these public moralists to the mainstream of nineteenth-century American history. Their concerns for morality and free-market economics are again fashionable in contemporary politics and deserving of fresh attention from both the general reader and the scholar.
In 1920 the League of Nations Advisory Committee on the Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs captured eight decades of political turmoil over opium trafficking. Steffen Rimner shows how local protests crossed imperial, national, and colonial boundaries to harness naming and shaming in international politics—a deterrent that continues today.
In this exciting new study, Bahru Zewde, one of the foremost historians of modern Ethiopia, has constructed a collective biography of a remarkable group of men and women in a formative period of their country's history. Ethiopia's political independence at the end of the nineteenth century put this new African state in a position to determine its own levels of engagement with the West. Ethiopians went to study in universities around the world. They returned with the skills of their education acquired in Europe and America, and at home began to lay the foundations of a new literature and political philosophy. Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia describes the role of these men and women of ideas in the social and political transformation of the young nation and later in the administration of Haile Selassie.
A thematic analysis of the career of Bronterre O’Brien, one of the most influential leaders of Chartism, this book relates his activities—and the Chartist movement—to broader themes in the history of Britain, Europe, and America during the nineteenth century. O’Brien (1804–64) came to be known as the “schoolmaster” of Chartism because of his efforts to describe and explain its intellectual foundations. The campaign for the People’s Charter (with its promise of political democratization) was a highpoint in O’Brien’s career as writer and orator, but he was already well known before the campaign began, and during the 1840s he distanced himself from other Chartist leaders and from several important Chartist initiatives. This book examines the personal, tactical, and ideological reasons for O’Brien’s departure, as well as his development of a social and economic agenda to accompany “constitutional” Chartism, in line with the evolution of radical thought after the Great Reform Act of 1832. It also evaluates O’Brien’s reputation, among his contemporaries and among modern historians, in order better to understand his contribution to radicalism in Britain and beyond.
In this much needed comprehensive study of the Progressive movement, its reformers, their ideology, and the social circumstances they tried to change, Shelton Stromquist contends that the persistence of class conflict in America challenged the very defining feature of Progressivism: its promise of social harmony through democratic renewal.
Profiling the movement's work in diverse arenas of social reform, politics, labor regulation and "race improvement," Stromquist argues that while progressive reformers may have emphasized different programs, they crafted a common language of social reconciliation in which an imagined civic community ("the People") would transcend parochial class and political loyalties. As progressive reformers sought to reinvent a society in which class had no enduring place, they also marginalized new immigrants and African Americans as being unprepared for civic responsibilities. In so doing, Stromquist argues that Progressives laid the foundation for twentieth-century liberals' inability to see their world in class terms and to conceive of social remedies that might alter the structures of class power.
Filling a void in Jane Addams scholarship, this first volume of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams collects extant documents from the formative years of the major American historical figure, intellectual, social activist, and author. Documenting the early development of Addams's social principles, the documents reveal the leadership skills that led her into a life of public commitment.
For all her public compassion and visibility as an outspoken pacifist, Progressive reformer, and founder of Hull-House, Addams was an intensely private person who revealed her personal side only to family and close friends. Drawing on letters, diaries, and other writings from her childhood in Cedarville, Illinois, and her education at the Rockford Female Seminary, this volume provides heretofore unavailable insight into her developing ideas, educational experiences, and personal relationships.
More than just biographical records, The Selected Papers of Jane Addams defines the era in which Addams lived. Unique yet representative of the spiritual ideals and political sensibilities of post-Civil War women and society, Addams's lesser-known, personal writings are necessary reading for scholars and historians. The volume explores important themes, including the migration of families westward, the first generation of college women, and the religious and domestic lives of nineteenth-century Americans. The editors' rich annotation of individuals and events featured in the documents and appendix of biographical profiles represent a trove of primary research and place the documents in historical context.
Venturing into Usefulness, the second volume of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, documents the experience of this major American historical figure, intellectual, social activist, and author between June 1881, when at twenty-one she had just graduated from Rockford Female Seminary, and early 1889, when she was on the verge of founding the Hull-House settlement with Ellen Gates Starr. During these years she evolved from a high-minded but inexperienced graduate of a women's seminary into an educated woman and seasoned traveler well-exposed to elite culture and circles of philanthropy. Themes inaugurated in the previous volume are expanded here, including dilemmas of family relations and gender roles; the history of education; the dynamics of female friendship; religious belief and ethical development; changes in opportunities for women; and the evolution of philanthropy, social welfare, and reform ideas.
In 1889 an unknown but determined Jane Addams arrived in the immigrant-burdened, politically corrupt, and environmentally challenged Chicago with a vision for achieving a more secure, satisfying, and hopeful life for all. Eleven years later, her œscheme, as she called it, had become Hull-House and stood as the template for the creation of the American settlement house movement while Addams's writings and speeches attracted a growing audience to her ideas and work. The third volume in this acclaimed series documents Addams's creation of Hull-House and her rise to worldwide fame as the acknowledged female leader of progressive reform. It also provides evidence of her growing commitment to pacifism. Here we see Addams, a force of thought, action, and commitment, forming lasting relationships with her Hull-House neighbors and the Chicago community of civic, political, and social leaders, even as she matured as an organizer, leader, and fund-raiser, and as a sought after speaker, and writer. The papers reveal her positions on reform challenges while illuminating her strategies, successes, and responses to failures. At the same time, the collection brings to light Addams's private life. Letters and other documents trace how many of her Hull-House and reform alliances evolved into deep, lasting friendships and also explore the challenges she faced as her role in her own family life became more complex. Fully annotated and packed with illustrations, The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, Volume 3 is a portrait of a woman as she changed and as she changed history.
Sojourner Truth's America
Margaret Washington University of Illinois Press, 2009 Library of Congress E185.97.T8W37 2009 | Dewey Decimal 306.362092
This fascinating biography tells the story of nineteenth-century America through the life of one of its most charismatic and influential characters: Sojourner Truth. In an in-depth account of this amazing activist, Margaret Washington unravels Sojourner Truth's world within the broader panorama of African American slavery and the nation's most significant reform era.
Born into bondage among the Hudson Valley Dutch in Ulster County, New York, Isabella was sold several times, married, and bore five children before fleeing in 1826 with her infant daughter one year before New York slavery was abolished. In 1829, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a domestic, preached, joined a religious commune, and then in 1843 had an epiphany. Changing her name to Sojourner Truth, she began traveling the country as a champion of the downtrodden and a spokeswoman for equality by promoting Christianity, abolitionism, and women's rights.
Gifted in verbal eloquence, wit, and biblical knowledge, Sojourner Truth possessed an earthy, imaginative, homespun personality that won her many friends and admirers and made her one of the most popular and quoted reformers of her times. Washington's biography of this remarkable figure considers many facets of Sojourner Truth's life to explain how she became one of the greatest activists in American history, including her African and Dutch religious heritage; her experiences of slavery within contexts of labor, domesticity, and patriarchy; and her profoundly personal sense of justice and intuitive integrity.
Organized chronologically into three distinct eras of Truth's life, Sojourner Truth's America examines the complex dynamics of her times, beginning with the transnational contours of her spirituality and early life as Isabella and her embroilments in legal controversy. Truth's awakening during nineteenth-century America's progressive surge then propelled her ascendancy as a rousing preacher and political orator despite her inability to read and write. Throughout the book, Washington explores Truth's passionate commitment to family and community, including her vision for a beloved community that extended beyond race, gender, and socioeconomic condition and embraced a common humanity. For Sojourner Truth, the significant model for such communalism was a primitive, prophetic Christianity.
Illustrated with dozens of images of Truth and her contemporaries, Sojourner Truth's America draws a delicate and compelling balance between Sojourner Truth's personal motivations and the influences of her historical context. Washington provides important insights into the turbulent cultural and political climate of the age while also separating the many myths from the facts concerning this legendary American figure.
Among nineteenth-century women’s rights reformers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) stands out for the maternal and secular advocacy that shaped her activism and public reception. A wife and mother of seven, she was also a prolific writer, transatlantic women’s rights leader, popular lecturer, congressional candidate, canny historian, and freethought champion. Her lifelong interest in women’s sexual and reproductive rights and late efforts to reform institutional religion are as relevant to our time as they were to her own.
Stanton’s professional life lasted a half-century, ranging from antebellum women’s rights organization and oratory, to a post–Civil War career as a lyceum lecturer, to a late-century role as an incisive religious and cultural critic. Acutely aware of the medical, religious, legal, and educational barriers to women’s independence, she advocated for married women’s right to vote, obtain a divorce, gain custody of their children, and own property. As she grew more radical over the years, she also demanded judicial reform, the separation of church and state, free love, progressive coeducational opportunities, and women’s right to limit their fertility.
In this richly contextualized collection of primary sources, Noelle A. Baker brings together accounts of Stanton’s life and ideas from both well-known and recently recovered figures. From the teacher chiding an assertive young woman to erstwhile allies worrying about her growing radicalism, their voices paint a vivid portrait of a woman of vaunting ambition, powerhouse intellect, and her share of human failings.
Deftly blending autobiography and history, James Green here reflects on thirty years as an activist, educator, and historian. He recounts how he became deeply immersed in political protest and in recovering and preserving the history of progressive social movements, and how the two are linked. His book, written in an engaging and accessible style, tells powerful stories of people in struggle, framed by the personal account of his own development. As a historian, Green gives voice to generations of Americans who banded together to fight for social justice. His subjects range from the martyrs of the Haymarket tragedy to the Bread and Roses strikers of 1912, from depression-era struggles for democracy to the civil rights crusaders, from recent Rainbow Coalition campaigns to the latest union organizing drives. As an activist, Green describes how his participation in the civil rights and labor movements of our own time has transformed his life, first as a student and radical scholar in the 1960s, then as a public historian and teacher of working-class students. He also describes his efforts to break free from academic confinement and "tell movement stories in public," in an attempt to offer hope and counsel to those still fighting for equality and fairness. He concludes with a revealing look at how awareness of past social activism has contributed to the revival of the labor movement during the last ten years, an effort in which Green has been vigorously engaged.
Taming Alabama focuses on persons and groups who sought to bring about reforms in the political, legal, and social worlds of Alabama. Most of the subjects of these essays accepted the fundamental values of nineteenth and early twentieth century white southern society; and all believed, or came to believe, in the transforming power of law. As a starting point in creating the groundwork of genuine civility and progress in the state, these reformers insisted on equal treatment and due process in elections, allocation of resources, and legal proceedings.
To an educator like Julia Tutwiler or a clergyman like James F. Smith, due process was a question of simple fairness or Christian principle. To lawyers like Benjamin F. Porter, Thomas Goode Jones, or Henry D. Clayton, devotion to due process was part of the true religion of the common law. To a former Populist radical like Joseph C. Manning, due process and a free ballot were requisites for the transformation of society.
Thad Snow (1881–1955) was an eccentric farmer and writer who was best known for his involvement in Missouri’s 1939 Sharecropper Protest—a mass highway demonstration in which approximately eleven hundred demonstrators marched to two federal highways to illustrate the plight of the cotton laborers. Snow struggled to make sense of the changing world, and his answers to questions regarding race, social justice, the environment, and international war placed him at odds with many. In Thad Snow, Bonnie Stepenoff explores the world of Snow, providing a full portrait of him.
Snow settled in the Missouri Bootheel in 1910—“Swampeast Missouri,” as he called it—when it was still largely an undeveloped region of hardwood and cypress swamps. He cleared and drained a thousand acres and became a prominent landowner, highway booster, and promoter of economic development—though he later questioned the wisdom of developing wild land.
In the early 1920s, “cotton fever” came to the region, and Snow started producing cotton in the rich southeast Missouri soil. Although he employed sharecroppers, he became a bitter critic of the system that exploited labor and fostered racism. In the 1930s, when a massive flood and the Great Depression heaped misery on the farmworkers, he rallied to their cause.
Defying the conventions of his class, he invited the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union (STFU) to organize workers on his land. He became a friend and colleague of Owen Whitfield, an African American minister, who led the Sharecroppers’ Roadside Strike of 1939. The successes of this great demonstration convinced Snow that mankind could fight injustice by peaceful means. While America mobilized for World War II, he denounced all war as evil, remaining a committed pacifist until his death in 1955. Shortly before he died, Snow published an autobiographical memoir, From Missouri, in which he affirmed his optimistic belief that people could peacefully change the world.
This biography places Snow in the context of his place and time, revealing a unique individual who agonized over racial and economic oppression and environmental degradation. Snow lived, worked, and pondered the connections among these issues in a small rural corner of Missouri, but he thought in global terms. Well-crafted and highly readable, Thad Snow provides an astounding assessment of an agricultural entrepreneur transformed into a social critic and an activist.
United States senator "Young Bob" La Follette entered politics as a young reformer in the shadow of his legendary father, "Fighting Bob" La Follette. He made his own mark as a key architect of Roosevelt’s New Deal and as a champion of labor rights and civil liberties. But in 1946 he was unexpectedly unseated by Joseph McCarthy, whose rise to Cold War notoriety foreshadowed La Follette’s despair and suicide in 1953. This new edition updates the only full scale biography of La Follette,Jr., the first to exploit his voluminous collection of personal papers. Patrick J. Maney makes clear that Young Bob’s story is as relevant today as it was when he died. His life stands as dramatic evidence of how one of the most respected politicians of his time bridged the political spectrum and was admired by both liberals like FDR and Harry Truman and conservatives like Robert Taft and Richard Nixon.