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Feld argues that Wald's innovative reform work was the product of both her own family's experience with immigration and assimilation as Jews in late-nineteenth-century Rochester, New York, and her encounter with Progressive ideals at her settlement house in Manhattan. As an ethnic working on behalf of other ethnics, Wald developed a universal vision that was at odds with the ethnic particularism with which she is now identified. These tensions between universalism and particularism, assimilation and group belonging, persist to this day. Thus Feld concludes with an exploration of how, after her death, Wald's accomplishments have been remembered in popular perceptions and scholarly works. For the first time, Feld locates Wald in the ethnic landscape of her own time as well as ours.
University of North Carolina Press, 9780807832363, 303pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2009