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The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America
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The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  11 ratings  ·  2 reviews
In 1877, the American Humane Society was formed as the national organization for animal and child protection. Thirty years later, there were 354 anticruelty organizations chartered in the United States, nearly 200 of which were similarly invested in the welfare of both humans and animals. In The Rights of the Defenseless, Susan J. Pearson seeks to understand the institutio ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published July 15th 2011 by University Of Chicago Press
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Kirsten
I really wanted to love this book. The subject matter is fascinating, and I definitely learned things I didn't know, despite previous study of the history of child protection and animal protection. But the writing is dense and repetitive, makkng it a bit of a slog for such a short book. I was struck, though, by how the same themes and perspectives have reoccurred over the years, and by how old some of our "modern" approach to cruelty really is.
Edward Sullivan
An inghtful scholarly study of the links between the animal and child welfare movements that both emerged in the late 19th century.
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Susan J. Pearson (PhD University of North Carolina, 2004) is an historian of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States with special interest in the cultural politics of reform, rights discourse, the development of American liberalism, the history of childhood, and the history of human-animal relations.

Her first book, The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in
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