Jane Addams: Spirit in Action

Jane Addams Spirit in Action In this landmark biography Jane Addams becomes America s most admired and most hated woman and wins the Nobel Peace Prize Jane Addams was a leading statesperson in an era when few imagined

  • Title: Jane Addams: Spirit in Action
  • Author: Louise W. Knight
  • ISBN: 9780393071658
  • Page: 181
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this landmark biography, Jane Addams becomes America s most admired and most hated woman and wins the Nobel Peace Prize.Jane Addams 1860 1935 was a leading statesperson in an era when few imagined such possibilities for women In this fresh interpretation, the first full biography of Addams in nearly forty years, Louise W Knight shows Addams s boldness, creativity, aIn this landmark biography, Jane Addams becomes America s most admired and most hated woman and wins the Nobel Peace Prize.Jane Addams 1860 1935 was a leading statesperson in an era when few imagined such possibilities for women 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 a progressive political force 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 Written as a fast paced narrative, Jane Addams traces how one woman worked with others to make a difference in the world 32 black and white illustrations

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      Published :2019-04-18T21:17:26+00:00

    About “Louise W. Knight

    • Louise W. Knight

      Louise W Knight is a writer and consultant to nonprofits and a former college administrator The author of Citizen Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy, she lives in Evanston, Illinois.

    396 thoughts on “Jane Addams: Spirit in Action

    • This is a solid cradle to grave biography of Jane Addams that also fills a void in my knowledge of American history. Jane Addams was a famous social justice champion who founded the Hull House in Chicago at the turn of the century. She also sponsored many other worthwhile causes in her life including the Women’s suffrage movement. In 1931 she won the Nobel Peace Prize. There is a lot of material covered in this book’s 200 plus pages. The author’s writing flows and she knows her subject wel [...]


    • A masterful biography of Jane Addams, a reformer who worked from the nineteenth century into the twentieth. Addams was raised by rich and cultured parents, but she yearned to minister to the poor. After her father blocked her admission to Smith (the first college in the US to offer women a bachelor's degree) and she found medical school bad for her health, she resolved to work in a settlement house instead. From the English example, a settlement house was meant to be an oasis of art and learning [...]


    • Why didn't we learn about Jane Addams in school? This woman was extremely influential, an important thinker and theorist, the founder of social work, an anti war activist, and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Read about her in for Women's History Month. Do it.


    • Jane Addams is one of the most interesting and impressive women in American history. This biography spends much time on her early life; she grew up in a close and loving family(though she lost her mother at an early age)but yet, she was denied her dream of going east to college and perhaps medical school because of her father and her times. She did go to all an women's college where she flourished. The biography is filled with great tidbits, my favorite is that while in college she was in a spee [...]


    • A fascinating, multifaceted account of the life of an extraordinary woman! I knew Jane Addams was an important figure in turn-of-the-century politics and social reform, but I had no idea just how MUCH she contributed and accomplished in her life. I was thrilled and inspired as I turned each page, inspired by this woman who literally changed the world - several times over - in an era when women could not even vote. A wonderful thing about this biography was that it richly combined Addams history [...]


    • Copious footnotes verify every claim in this biography of this amazing American: political activist, social reformer, early feminist, champion of racial equality, lecturer, author, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. I appreciated that the biographer resisted the temptation to fabricate dialogue or, for the most part, avoid speculating about the thoughts or feelings of Jane Addams. I am in awe of this woman who, prior to reading this book, I was aware of only the highlights of her story.


    • Donna led this discussion on May 27, 2014.Everyone found the story of Jane Addams and Hull House (as well as Jane's other activities) very interesting. However the book was not as well written as it could have been.


    • It took me a long time to finish this book even though I liked it very much. Jane Addams was so much more than the founder of Hull House. Besides supporting immigrant rights and workers rights she was a suffragist, and a pacifist. She was open to the ideas of others while maintaining her own core principles. When I read of the early twentieth century I am struck by how many issues are still with us a hundred years later. At least somethings are different. There are child labor laws and voting an [...]



    • This book is a biography of Jane Addams. I had read an earlier book by Knight on Addams and liked it sufficiently to try this one. I was a bit disappointed by the book. Addams is an extremely interested person and this biography, wnile very flattering of Addams does not really present this person as the force of nature that she must have been It starts with a full recognition of her lifetime accomplishments and then tells her story with an eye towards show how these pieces came together as a you [...]


    • I grew up in Chicago reading children’s biographies of Jane Addams, and she was my hero at a time when there weren’t many female heroes to choose from. Now, as an adult reading this new biography, Jane Addams has grown in my eyes a hundred-fold. First of all, JA was involved in all of the issues of her time (1890s-1930s), which are also the social issues of our time. Jane Addams was not just a leader in the settlement house and social work movement, which is what most people remember her for [...]


    • The problem with historical biography is that one pretty much knows what’s going to happen: Wilson will be elected, WWI will break out, women will get the vote, and the main character dies in the end. To be compelling, not only must the writing quality be superb, but the reader must also be inherently interested in that historical era and/or person. I can’t decide which of these factors was lacking in this biography, but about midway I started skimming the pages. Nevertheless, I learned that [...]


    • The first half of Knight’s biography of Jane Addams is a fascinating look into the personal growth, intellectual development and compassionate action of Addams, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Addams was determined to make her mark in the world, but what that would be and how she would accomplish it were in question. Denied the education she longed for because of her gender, she found her niche after the death of her father left here with the money necessary to found Hull House, a set [...]


    • Jane Addams grew up not far from where I have some ancestors, I get to Chicago quite a bit, and I knew about Hull House. What I didn't know was much in-depth about the life of this amazing woman so I thought I would dig a little deeper and this biography was a good start. Addams worked on issues that touched a global community: women's rights, education, workers rights, human trafficking, and peace. She was a gentle but tough minded soul who had to endure not only fame and approval, but also unf [...]


    • It took me a long while to read this book, but eventually it fascinated me. The early part of the book, covering Jane Addams's early life, dragged. What drew me in was the broadening of her world after she opened Hull House. At that point the book becomes not only a biography, but a recounting of times that relate in major ways to our own. Jane Addams lived through the beginning of the union movement, fought child labor practices, was a pacifist during WWI, and all of these descriptions of the s [...]


    • Comprehensive biographies are rarely exceptional books given the volume of material to be covered. By necessity, the topics must be covered superficially unless you are dedicated to writing a multi volume tome. This is no exception. However, if you are like me and knew virtually nothing about Jane Addams, this is a great introduction. The writing is clear. The book is organized into distinct sections based on the epochs in her life - as settler, political activist, ethicist, political, etc. It i [...]


    • Read again 05/25/14 for Maze book discussionJane Addams remains amazing. She'd give Hillary a run for her money if she was in politics today. I don't know how she managed all of her commitments on national and international organizations. Talk about leaning in!I knew Jane Addams was an important figure in Chicago history, but I didn't realize her importance to world history until I read this book. I think the aspect about Addams I admire the most is her willingness to examine her personal belief [...]


    • The author, Louise W. Knight briskly carries the reader through Jane Addams' life (in 279 pages) providing background information, family history, quotes from correspondence and passages from Jane's books. Historical events were provided placing Jane's activities in context. I found it to be very interesting. This book is more of a historical biography with very little fictionalization. The author does not jump to conclusions assuming to understand or know Jane's motivations or feelings. Instead [...]


    • Even though I have lived in Chicago most of my life, I knew very little about Jane Addams. She was certainly a woman ahead of her time. I enjoyed reading about how she managed to become such an important leader. I would have liked to learn more about Hull House, but this WAS a biography of Addams. I liked how the author showed us how Addams early life influenced her throughout her life. Seeing how her thinking evolved was interesting. There were times when the book slowed down, but I find that h [...]


    • This was an interesting read but way too slow to capture and keep my attention. I started reading about Jane Addams in early May. Then gave it a weeks' rest before picking her book back up again and finishing it in late June. Full of life events/historical facts that will inspire people to appreciate their gifts and serve humanity not money. Jane Addams chose to be unselfish and giving of her time and wealth. Plus she used her voice as an activist for the betterment of human rights during the 19 [...]


    • Knight does an excellent job covering the transformation of Jane Addams's social work and her philosophies about how to help the world be a better place. Addams begins from a belief that the wealthy should help the poor enrich their lives with culture, and gradually moves toward the labor movement, women's suffrage, and pacifism (for which her reputation suffers greatly during World War I). All the steps along the way are covered by Knight, and she does well at bringing this distant, often-overl [...]


    • As a graduate of the Jane Addams College of Social Work, I thought I'd enjoy this biography. I read about 20 pages & felt that the author was all over the place with her writing. She kept on referring to Twenty Years At Hull House and it felt like I was reading a boring & long college essay that wasn't well organized. Therefore, I stopped reading it & started reading Twenty Years At Hull House instead & so far, I'm enjoying that book much more.


    • Heavy going at times but worth it to run across the time she met Leo Tolstoy (one of her models for moral behavior) or the time she met Theodore Roosevelt and tried to budge him from his neutral position on women's suffrage. Addams turned out to be a force of nature, steady and dedicated as a tide. Not a tsunami, just a tide that kept coming back. Lots more to her life than Hull House, as it turns out.


    • I love Jane Addams. I love the work that she tried to do and what she stood for (still stands for). While this book feels a little dry in parts, overall it tries to understand and tell the story of this woman. I especially enjoyed the early sections describing her childhood and her wanting to go to college even though this was something rarely done at the time.


    • She's such an inspiring person. Sadly, we're struggling with many of the same issues today that she was working on back in hers. I also read Knight's previous Addams' biography, Citizen, which focused on Addams' early years. I recommend both.


    • Knight weaves much history into her biography. She is telling a story of Jane's life an evolution, which sometimes omits things for s sense of greater cohesion but its overall a great read, about a unique women


    • I really enjoyed this book about the very-inspiring Jane Addams. Pacifist, reformer, pioneer social worker, women's rights activist, author--Jane did it all. She was engaged throughout her life and really made a difference. Truly worthy of her Nobel Peace Prize.


    • Louise Knight's biography of Jane Addams is magnificently crafted. I highly recommend this book and have ascribed it a place in my personal library (an unusual occurrence as we are trying to downsize our personal libraries).


    • A quick read considering it is nonfiction. I would have been interested in reading more about Addams's travels in Europe. I felt that the book was overly broad in some regards but overly specific in others.


    • super insightful view of the early 20th century and the progressivist movement. Addams worked tirelessly for the well-being of men, women and children in an era lacking in regulations and rights. She could have done so many other things with her wealth. Good for her!!


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