Twenty Years at Hull-House; with Autobiographical Notes – by Jane Addams (Randyjw; June 1, 2019)
Twenty Years at Hull-House; with Autobiographical Notes – by Jane Addams; original publication date 1910. Paperback reissue by University of Illinois Press Urbana and Chicago in conjunction with the Illinois Center for the Book. Introduction and Notes ©1990 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, written by James Hurt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This is a review of paradoxical contradictions. Written by: a self-termed Conservative with a bent toward issues-oriented policy, regarding the premise of socialized, communal living, termed a ‘Settler Movement,’ within a democratic republic. A Movement meant to examine the processes and application of social theory towards the results of its experiments; yet still finding an unsolved relevancy in the persistence of those self-same subsets one hundred-years forward. The subject of ‘Humans’, as human subjects.
The time was ripening for the arousal to consciousness of how man must learn to structure their societal proponents to live amongst a continually burgeoning and industrializing U.S. population. With the influx of immigrants from abroad, there needed to homogenize the old traditions and cultures to create a workable new, and this was the tenet of a number of ambitious people and projects attempting to do so, circa late-Nineteenth/early-Twentieth centuries.
Jane Addams was one of them. In her 1910 published book, she describes her project, conducted with a friend, to live amongst the poor, and to become good neighbors with them. Along the way, she is caught up in the issues of the day, such as the women’s suffrage movement, the assimilation of immigrants from old worlds into a new country, and the effects of egregious working conditions amongst the poor. Whether by choice or chance, she winds up taking a more proactive role to see their challenges as they would experience them, up close, and finding means and both temporary and permanent solutions to help rectify their situation.
It’s often hard to tell whether this was an intended undertaking, or whether she was just along on a developing ride. But, in any case, it seems that the attentions given to youth development and education enhanced their opportunities for growth through learning, and lent great assistance to achieving these marks.
The book offers an interesting perspective of the literal language of life one hundred-years ago. Sometimes dull, sometimes pedantic in thought – – but still a particular slant from another era lending insight into the influencers of the way in which societies might develop.