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 behaviors.
Buy Next to Godliness book by Daniel Burnstein from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(5983mm x 3895mm x 585mm)
University of Illinois Press
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Daniel Burnstein
Daniel Burnstein is an associate professor of history at Seattle University.