A major study focusing on child-helping agencies of the Progressive Era

Saving the Waifs

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LeRoy Ashby

"A major study....By focusing on the less well-known child-helping agencies of the Progressive Era, Ashby deepens our understanding of the period and of the way earnest volunteers sought to go about the business of saving dependent and delinquent children."
Joseph M. Hawes, Kansas State University

At the turn of the century efforts by voluntary groups and social institutions to confront the problems of orphans, "street arabs," newsboys, and waifs were considered a major thrust for progressive reform. The conflicts arising from these activities—social justice vs. social control, voluntary vs. government action, children's rights vs. society's rights, and home vs. institutional care—set the stage for subsequent social welfare programs.


About the Author(s)

LeRoy Ashby is Professor of History at Washington State University and the author of The Spearless Leader: Senator Borah and the Progressive Movement in the 1920s.

Subject Categories

American Studies

In the series

American Civilization, edited by Allen F. Davis.

The focus of American Civilization, edited by Allen F. Davis, is American cultural history. In keeping with the interdisciplinary work in this field, which characteristically brings together art history, literary history and theory, and material culture, the titles in this series cover diverse aspects of American experience—from attitudes toward death to twentieth-century design innovations to images of country life in art and letters to trade unions' reliance on religious discourse. The series has been a pioneer in presenting work that uses photographs as historical documents and from its inception has been firmly committed to women's studies. As the first university press series in the field, American Civilization provided the inspiration and the standard for much of the interdisciplinary work developing in the contemporary academy.



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