Chicago Dec. 4 -- 1909
My dear Miss Addams:
I have delayed thanking you for 'The Spirit of Youth & the City Streets' until I had had opportunity to read it carefully.
I can now express my appreciation most heartily on two scores -- First, your courtesy in sending the volume -- and second, your success in bringing clearly to my mind the essential features of the problem with which you deal. I find myself greatly indebted for a [saner] and truer vision of the perplexities which beset our young people. Certainly your portrayal makes the existing conditions seem quite intolerable and wickedly stupid. Are we unfair in asking you, who see so straight and describe so lucidly the world of things -- as-they-are, to find even more [concretely] than you have done [page 2] the specific remedy adequate to the needs of our own community? You point suggestively to a number of possibilities. I hope sometime you will find it practicable to draw up a program for handling the problem broadly -- a program which will be so concrete as to submit itself to experimental test. In no other way do we learn the real truth and the attempt so to learn must be needlessly postponed unless some one wiser than the rest of us blazes the path. Hull House itself is no doubt part of the answer.
If it is not impertinent, I should like to register my warm admiration for the remarkable literary skills with which you instantly arouse and persistently retain your reader's glowing sympathy with the young men and women whose case you [present]. Many of our college students represent the tragedy at its other pole -- the surfeit of conventional amusement with no adequate outlet for the cravings after serious [altruism]. It [deserves] no such recognition as the troubles [of our] young folk, but it is often sincerely tragic.
James R. Angell