Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy

March 22, 2008

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Louise Knight

Hull House was Chicago's first settlement house, and its founder, Jane Addams (1860–1935), remains one of this city's best-known and most-respected national leaders. What led a small town, upper-middle-class young woman to take up residence in one of Chicago's poorest industrial neighborhoods? What changed her from an apolitical philanthropist dedicated to the cultural and moral uplift of her immigrant neighbors to world prominence as an unflagging political activist and Nobel-prizewinning social reformer?

Louise Knight's exploration of the first forty years of Addams's life in Citizen focuses on her reaction to the political and economic turmoil of the 1890s, and identifies the women and men who influenced her political development.

 

Recorded Saturday, March 22, 2008 at The Newberry Library.