Second Home: Orphan Asylums and Poor Families in America

Second Home: Orphan Asylums and Poor Families in America

by Timothy A. Hacsi



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Second Home: Orphan Asylums and Poor Families in America by Timothy A. Hacsi

As orphan asylums ceased to exist in the late twentieth century, interest in them dwindled as well. Yet, from the Civil War to the Great Depression, America's dependent children received more aid from orphan asylums than from any other means. The ideologies and institutions behind this aid are the subject of Timothy Hacsi's book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674796447
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 01/28/1998
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.62(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Timothy A. Hacsi is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

What People are Saying About This

Kenneth Cmiel

The most thorough investigation of orphanages available to date. This book is packed with insights about funding, management, lengths of stay, corporal punishment, and many other issues.

Kenneth Cmiel, author of A Home of Another Kind: One Chicago Orphanage and the Tangle of Child Welfare

Clarke A. Chambers

Second Home makes an original and significant contribution to the growing field of welfare history...Hacsi's study is a pioneering work. It is based on a careful reading of a great body of secondary literature, and on critical research into a wide range of primary printed and manuscript records...Hacsi writes clear, direct prose...His findings will inform the understanding of specialists in welfare history, add to the knowledge of social historians (whose fields may be women's, family, urban history), and be accessible to laypersons concerned with current issues of child welfare...His judgments are both subtle and balanced; they are firmly grounded on empirical evidence...Hacsi sets forth the personal and human dimensions of the subject whether the actors are parents, agency boards, superintendents, social workers, organizers of private agencies or proponents of public policy, and the children themselves. He is sensitive to factors of gender, class, region, ethnicity, and religion. His descriptive analyses of orphans, half-orphans, of length of stay, of placement, and of underlying motives are all sound.
Clarke A. Chambers, University of Minnesota

Allan M. Brandt

Tim Hacsi has produced a wise and humane account of a complex American social institution now all but forgotten, the orphanage. Deeply researched and clearly argued, Second Home reminds us of the sharp historical debates about how best to care for dependent children. This important book shows how we have so often failed to place the needs of children above the rhetoric. The rise and fall of the orphanage, described so impressively in Second Home, has critical implications for contemporary debates about poverty, child care, and child welfare.
Allan M. Brandt, Harvard University

Maria Luddy

Hacsi's well researched and well written account of the rise and decline of orphan asylums in America is essentially a heartfelt and subtle argument about the best ways in which a society can care for its dependent children. He has written the first full-length account of the development of orphan asylums from the early nineteenth century. A prodigious amount of research has found its way into this hook, and facts, opinion and argument are interwoven in a delicate and deftly nuanced study... This book is essential reading for those who wish to understand how current issues around child welfare have developed.
Maria Luddy, Social Policy

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