Edward Alsworth Ross to Jane Addams, January 12, 1911


Jan. 12, 1911.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ill.

My Dear Miss Addams:

The sociologists expect to meet in Washington in holiday week of this year at the same time as the economists and the political scientists. The officers of the Sociologist Society are very desirous of devoting a session to the question "Should the Providing of Means of Public Recreation be Regarded as a Social Function?" More than any one else, you are identified in our minds with the idea that the community has a duty in relation to the furnishing of recreation and so I have been deputed to ask you if you will present the principal paper of the session we devote to this subject. What we have in mind is a strong, affirmative paper, declaring not just what the community should do at the present moment in this line, but what we ought to expect the community to do in twenty or forty years from now. We want the doctrine of community supply of recreation to be presented in a definite, positive way, that will call forth vigorous discussion on one side or the other. [There are] a lot of the sociologists who are rather surprised by the doctrine and don't know really where they stand. A prominent session devoted to thrashing this out would clarify their ideas, and might make a lot of influential friends for the policy you have so much at heart.

Since returning from the St. Louis meeting, I [page 2] have read your book "The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets". It is wonderful and beautiful, and to have written it ought to make any one feel that one has done enough. A more moving and effective plea has never been made for any thing.

Very sincerely yours,

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