By James Cracraft

In his new booklet, Two Shining Souls, James Cracraft explores the decades-long come upon of Jane Addams, the recognized American social reformer and peace activist, with Leo Tolstoy, the acclaimed Russian author and sage. He records Tolstoy’s effect in Progressive-era the US and especially on Addams’s occupation, mentioning formerly unknown or ignored resources. as well as her examine of Tolstoy’s writings—his now principally forgotten spiritual tracts greater than his celebrated fiction—Addams traveled to Russia to work out him individually, a gathering that's acknowledged intimately. overdue in her lifestyles, Addams defined Tolstoy as an extraordinary “shining soul,” a time period, Cracraft indicates, that applies both good to her. His booklet provides an everlasting non secular measurement to Addams’s wealthy legacy whereas newly delimiting, in contrast, the legacy of Tolstoy.
The tale of Addams and Tolstoy brings into concentration problems with carrying on with public predicament, together with the usually conflicting calls for at the individual—particularly women—of relations and society; the legitimacy of violence in pursuit of political goals; the matter of poverty; the function of presidency in social reform; and where of faith in either private and non-private lifestyles. The specific ways that those emblematic figures handled such arguable concerns provide insights which may be beneficial even today.
Yet the one most vital hyperlink among Addams and Tolstoy was once their preoccupation with the query of peace, which they understood as a cost subsuming all different values or items. So Shining Souls is additionally concerning the invention and unfold of “pacifism” in 19th-century Europe and the USA and the good concern in its heritage induced via global warfare I.

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Two Shining Souls: Jane Addams, Leo Tolstoy, and the Quest for Global Peace by James Cracraft


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