Louise  _Knight

Louise W. Knight

Louise (Lucy) W. Knight, an independent scholar and instructor in the Department of Communication at Northwestern University, will present Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy, a recently published book she has worked on for two decades. Jane Addams (1860 - 1935) was a social reformer and sociologist, widely known as the mother of social work. In 1889 she co-founded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first settlement houses in the U.S., providing a center for social reform and welfare to the neighborhood's poor. At its height, Hull House served 2,000 people a week. Addams was a formative member of both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She was also a leader in the women's suffrage and pacifist movements. She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to her in 1931. This half-life biography, covering the years from Addams's birth to the end of her first decade at Hull House, in 1899, tells the story of how a sheltered, educated, wealthy young woman converted her despair over her general uselessness to the world into a life of civic action. Alan Wolfe, in a recent review in The New York Times states, "Knight's decision to focus on Addams's early years is a stroke of genius. We know a great deal about Jane Addams the public figure. We know relatively little about how she made the transition from the 19th century to the 20th. In Knight's book, Jane Addams comes to life." Incidentally, Jane Addams visited Chautauqua in 1915, and her book, Twenty Years at Hull House was a CLSC selection a few years earlier.