Description - Next to Godliness by Daniel Burnstein
To many Progressive Era reformers, the extent of street cleanliness was considered 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 morality and well-being that would, in the aggregate, help ensure a healthy and orderly city. In addition, civic sanitation was a key element in the general impetus to reform urban social and environmental conditions and to influence individual behaviours that would promote personal advancement and societal health. Daniel Burnstein's study examines prominent street sanitation issues in Progressive Era New York City--ranging from garbage strikes to "juvenile cleaning leagues"--as a way of exploring how middle-class reformers amassed a base of middle-class support for social reform measures to a degree greater than in practically any other period of prosperity in U.S. history.Linking social reform concerns with practical politics and with compelling urban environmental and public health issues, Burnstein discusses reformers' attitudes toward individual and governmental responsibility, individual character and its relationship to the social and physical environment, and the integration of immigrants into the broader society.
One of his central concerns, which he contends has applications for the present day, is the success Progressive Era reformers enjoyed in building cross-class and cross-ethnic reform coalitions.
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(235mm x 152mm x 22mm)
University of Illinois Press
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
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Author Biography - Daniel Burnstein
Daniel Burnstein is an associate professor of history at Seattle University.