Alice Hamilton: A Life in Letters

Front Cover
University of Illinois Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 460 pages
Alice Hamilton (1869-1970), a pioneer in the study of diseases of the workplace, a founder of industrial toxicology in the United States, and Harvard's first woman professor, led a long and interesting life. Always a consummate professional, she was also a prominent social reformer whose interest in the environmental causes of disease and in promoting equitable living conditions developed during her years as a resident at Jane Addams's Hull-House.

This legendary figure now comes to life in an integrated work of biography and letters that reveals the personal as well as the professional woman. In documenting Hamilton's evolution from a childhood of privilege to a life of social advocacy, the volume opens a window on women reformers and their role in Progressive Era politics and reform. Because Hamilton was a keen observer and vivid writer, her letters--more than 100 are included here--bring an unmatched freshness and immediacy to a range of subjects, such as medical education; personal relationships and daily life at Hull House; the women's peace movement; struggles for the protection of workers' health; academic life at Harvard; politics and civil liberties during the cold war; and the process of growing old. Her story takes the reader from the Gilded Age to the Vietnam War.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labwriter - LibraryThing

This book focuses on Alice Hamilton (b.1869), but we are also introduced to the others in this remarkable family--mothers, sisters, cousins--an amazing family community of hyperliterate women. Alice ... Read full review


The Hamiltons of Fort Wayne
II Medical Training 18901894
IV Hull House 18971907
VII The Harvard Years 19191927
VIII Elder Stateswoman 19281935
Semiretirement 19351949

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information