Books That Inspire 2002


 
Twenty Years at Hull-House
Jane Addams


I first read Addams's autobiography in grade school. I knew nothing about women leaders, but I did know women missionaries, so that is what Addams became for me. Later, in 1989, I was teaching in Illinois; Hull House, a Chicago settlement house, celebrated its centennial. I immediately reread the book and met a new Addams. Today, Addams's theory of democracy inspires me. I like her notion in Democracy and Social Ethics (1902) that the good cannot be imposed from above; for, "unless all men and all classes contribute to a good, we cannot even be sure that it is worth having."
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Catherine Hobbs
Associate Professor
English