Character Is Destiny: The Autobiography of Alice Salomon

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Overview

In her autobiography, the remarkable feminist and social worker Alice Salomon recounts her transition in the 1890s from privileged idleness to energetic engagement in solving social problems. Salomon took the lead in establishing the profession of social work, and built a career as a social reformer, activist, and educator. A prolific author, Salomon also played a key role in the transatlantic dialogue between German and American feminists in the early twentieth century. Her narrative concludes with the account of her expulsion from Germany by the Nazis in 1937.

Salomon's formative influence on the field of social work makes her story crucial for the history of the discipline. This work will also appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of the feminist and socialist movements or the political and social history of twentieth-century Germany. The volume also includes several of Salomon's essays on social work and women's issues, along with photographs of Salomon, her students, and her colleagues.

Andrew Lees is Professor and Chair of the History Department at Rutgers University, Camden.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
1. A Child with a Garden, 1872-1889 11
2. Apprenticeship, 1893-1899 24
3. Widening Horizon 37
4. London-Berlin 48
5. The Aberdeens, Scotland, Ireland, 1904-1908 61
6. Two Jobs for Life, I: The School for Social Work, 1907-1913 68
7. Two Jobs for Life, II: Officer of the International Council; Canada and First Glimpse of U.S.A. 81
8. Brief Harvest before the Storm 89
9. "The Evidence of Things Not Seen," 1914 101
10. Patriotism Is Not Enough, 1914-1916 105
11. In the War Office, 1917-1919 112
12. Fourteen Years of Democracy, I: Years of Chaos, 1919-1924 121
13. Fourteen Years of Democracy, II: My Foreign Affairs, 1920-1933 133
14. Fourteen Years of Democracy, III: Social Reconstruction, 1924-1929 150
15. Fourteen Years of Democracy, IV: Then Came the Collapse 159
16. The Golden Ring of Friendship 165
17. The Stream of Lava 173
18. The Mystery of Individual Adjustments 181
19. A Spy Stands behind You 188
20. Exit Modern Woman 191
21. The Strong and the Weak 201
22. God and Caesar 209
23. The Pastors ... Martin Niemoller 214
24. New Lease on Life 220
Appendix A. The Significance of the Women's Movement for Social Life 231
Appendix B. The Revolution of the Mother 239
Appendix C. Preface to an Early Version of Salomon's Autobiography 247
Notes 249
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