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Description de l’éditeur
Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy. Jean Bethke Elshtain. New York: Basic Books, 2002. The stated goal of Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy is to "... draw the curtain of historical mist and dust that has obscured Addams and blurred her reputation" (p. xxii). One layer of the historical mist that Elshtain attempts to clarify is how Jane Addams' human service work was rooted in Christianity. Elshtain underscores that Jane Addams imitates Christ through a service ethic. In regard to dust that has obscured Jane Addams, Elshtain writes: "There are days when I think the world has passed her [Jane Addams] by; that she is so securely lodged in a bygone era that it is impossible to draw her into a conversation about our situation..." (p. 253-254). There are two primary reasons why leisure professionals and educators should remember Jane Addams. First, the political battles and services that Jane Addams and her colleagues at Hull-House developed fostered the play movement and the contemporary fields of leisure, youth, and human services. Second, her ideas related to the First World War can develop important discussions regarding the War on Terror in the contemporary period. For example,Jane Addams' concerns regarding World War I are readily apparent in regard to the War on Terror (e.g., undermining human kindness and civic friendship, highlighting the mythical image of U.S. soldiers being stalwart warriors, (1) using military approaches instead of diplomatic solutions). Elshtain's hope is that "... readers of this book will go on to read Addams's own writing, in order to fully appreciate her intellect and her passion for civic life" (p. xxii). Hence, a companion book edited by Jean Elshtain (2002), The Jane Addams Reader, has been published which includes excerpts from each of Jane Addams' books, as well as essays from journals and newspapers.