I Came a Stranger

The Story of a Hull-House Girl
Author: Hilda Satt Polacheck
Edited by Dena J. Polacheck Epstein. Introduction by Lynn Y. Weiner
An immigrant's story of life and activism in Chicago
Paper – $25
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1991
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About the Book

Hilda Satt Polacheck's family emigrated from Poland to Chicago in 1892, bringing their old-world Jewish traditions with them into the Industrial Age. Throughout her career as a writer and activist, Polacheck never forgot the immigrant neighborhoods, markets, and scents and sounds of Chicago's West Side. In charming and colorful prose, Polacheck recounts her introduction to American life and the Hull-House community; her chance meeting with Jane Addams and their subsequent long friendship and working relationship; her marriage; her support of civil rights and women's suffrage; her work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; and her experiences as a writer for the Works Progress Administration.

About the Author

Hilda Satt Polacheck (1882–1967) was a writer, activist, and teacher. Dena J. Polacheck Epstein (d. 2013) is the author of Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War. Lynn Y. Weiner is a professor emerita of history at Roosevelt University and the author of From Working Girl to Working Mother: The Female Labor Force in the United States, 1820-1980.

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"Scholars will find much to mine from Polacheck's vivid descriptions of urban life and socialist politics at a time of vast change. . . . General readers will be entranced by this sometimes dramatic, frequently funny, always engrossing autobiography."--Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times

"From the little details of immigrant life to the broad sweep of progressive politics, Hilda Satt Polacheck has given us an enormously valuable historical document. I Came a Stranger is the story of one of the 'obscure women' of history as she really was, an acute observer and an energetic actor in the public life of her time."--Ellen Carol DuBois, coauthor of Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academe