2280 Bethany Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
More than Neighbors
Catholic Settlements and Day Nurseries in Chicago, 1893–1930
Deborah A. Skok
"Shines a spotlight on one aspect of the interplay between Catholics and urban life. Skok clearly has a superb command not only of the extensive literature of Progressive-era social welfare reform and women's benevolence but also of American Catholic history related to this field."—American Historical Review
"Deepens our understanding of the settlement impulse and the ways in which it manifested itself outside of the traditional definition of a settlement.”—Michigan Historical Review
The influx of southern and eastern European immigrants to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century resulted in a stereotype of Catholics as poor, illiterate laborers. As prejudice against the unwelcome newcomers spread, Irish- and German-American Catholics—many of whom were American-born—felt threatened. Although genuinely concerned about the welfare of fellow Catholics, they feared the loss of their hard-earned economic security and slowly rising social position. By identifying common interests, the women of Chicago’s Catholic community found a solution that simultaneously served the needy and cemented the status of the middle class.
(2007) 251 pp.
Deborah A. Skok is Assistant Professor of History at Hendrix College.
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