CITIZEN book covers the first half of Jane Addams's life, from 1860 to 1899. Part I, "The Given Life," takes the story from birth to 1888. These are the years when she was making her home among her family, attending school or travelling. Part II, "The Chosen Life," tells the story of her first ten years living in an industrial neighborhood of West Chicago, from 1889 to 1899. These are the first years she spent living at the settlement house Hull House that she co-founded with Ellen Gates Starr.
The biography, while a work of original scholarship, is written to be enjoyed as well by the general reader. The story is told with narrative pace and enriched by thoughtful interpretation. In the endnotes, those interested will be able to trace the extensive original sources that Knight has consulted and to consider some of the issues of scholarship related to writing a biography of Addams or, in some cases, biography in general. There is an extensive bibliography and index. The "Afterword" gives an overview of earlier biographical work on Addams and the contributions that various fields of scholarship have made to understanding some of the issues that a biography of Addams today needs to address.
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