Biography, Books for the News, Gay and Lesbian

The love of Jane Addams’s Life

jacket imageA couple of months ago, we noted that Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame planned to induct Jane Addams, whose life story Louise Knight vividly recounts in Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy.
In commemoration of that honor, the new Lambda Literary Salon features an essay by Louise Knight, which eloquently explores the role of love in Addams’s life.
“I believe that love was Jane Addams’s most absorbing passion,” Knight writes. “She was one of those rare people who was thinking about the importance of love all the time—not always succeeding in being loving, of course, but steadily trying.” Focusing in particular on Addams’s experiences with romantic, intimate love, Knight concludes that “it has been a revelation and a joy to learn about the remarkable contributions gay men and lesbian women have made to the United States. We all want to see ourselves reflected in the great accomplishments of history; now, finally, the gay and lesbian communities are beginning to be able to have that deeply human satisfaction. Jane Addams, too, belongs to lesbian history.”
For more reading, we also have an excerpt from Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy.