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Maternal Justice Miriam Van Waters and the Female Reform Tradition cover
  • ISBN: 9780226261492
  • ISBN10: 0226261492

Maternal Justice Miriam Van Waters and the Female Reform Tradition

by Estelle B. Freedman

  • List Price: $42.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/1996
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Description
In her extraordinary career as a prison reformer, Miriam Van Waters worked tirelessly to champion the cause of socially disadvantaged and delinquent women. Yet, it was her sensational battle to retain the superintendency of the Massachusetts Reformatory for Women in 1949 that made her a national cause celebre, triumphantly defending herself against an array of political and ideological enemies. In this compelling biography, Estelle Freedman moves beyond the controversy to reveal a remarkable woman whose success rested upon the power of her own charismatic leadership. She touched thousands of people - from Boston Brahmins to alcoholics, prostitutes, and desperate criminals, to her devoted prison staff and volunteers. Through her, we meet a wealth of characters, including Eleanor Roosevelt, and see the realities of life in the early decades of this century for a single mother of an adopted daughter. A compelling tale in its own right, Van Waters life also supplies a missing chapter in the history of American women. Combining a deep faith in the social power of motherhood with professional efforts to secure equal justice for women and children. Van Waters and her generation provide a legacy for contemporary woman activists.
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