Jane Addams was a leading statesperson in an era when such possibilities for women were almost nonexistent. Few people today, however, know the full scope of her work as a political progressive. Join us to commemorate the 150th anniversary of her birth, and to celebrate the release of Jane Addams: Spirit in Action.
In this fresh interpretation, the first full biography of Addams in nearly forty years, Louise W. Knight shows Addams’s boldness, creativity, and tenacity as she sought ways to put the ideals of democracy into action. Starting in Chicago as a co-founder of the nation’s first settlement house, Hull House—a community center where people of all classes and ethnicities could gather—Addams became a grassroots organizer and a partner of trade unionists, women, immigrants, and African Americans seeking social justice. In time, she emerged as an all-around progressive leader: an advocate for women’s suffrage; an advisor to presidents; a co-founder of civil rights organizations, including the NAACP; and a leader for international peace.
Knight’s fast-paced narrative traces how one woman worked with others to make a difference in the world, and how her legacy has contributed to the ideals and policies we strive for today.
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Louise W. Knight is a Visiting Scholar in the Gender Studies Program at Northwestern University and a writer and consultant to nonprofits. The author of Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy, she lives in Evanston, Illinois.
Blanche Wiesen Cook is a bestselling biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt, and Distinguished Professor of History and Women’s Studies at John Jay College.