Next to Godliness

Next to Godliness : Confronting Dirt and Despair in Progressive Era New York City

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To many Progressive Era reformers, the extent of street cleanliness was an important gauge for determining whether a city was providing the conditions necessary for impoverished immigrants to attain a state of "decency"--a level of individual well-being and morality that would help ensure a healthy and orderly city. Daniel Eli Burnstein's study examines prominent street sanitation issues in Progressive Era New York City--ranging from garbage strikes to "juvenile cleaning leagues"--to explore how middle-class reformers amassed a cross-class and cross-ethnic base of support for social reform measures to a degree greater than in practically any other period of prosperity in U.S. history. The struggle for enhanced civic sanitation serves as a window for viewing Progressive Era social reformers' attitudes, particularly their emphasis on mutual obligations between the haves and have-nots, and their recognition of the role of negative social and physical conditions in influencing individual more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 154.9 x 238.8 x 27.9mm | 544.32g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252030249
  • 9780252030246

Review quote

"The book raises good questions . . . about the challenges contemporary historians continue to face in making sense of the dual nature of reformers and reform movements."--H-SHGAPE "In this little book brimming with big ideas, the author seeks to draw lessons for our times by indicating. . . . the old Progressives' linkage of moral and family values to communitarian ends."--Historian "Burnstein's interpretation of reform activities . . . rehabilitates the reputation of the Progressives and inspires readers seeking to reshape political debates over social issues."--Journal of Social Historyshow more

About Daniel Burnstein

Daniel Burnstein is an associate professor of history at Seattle more

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