William James to Jane Addams, February 12, 1907


Cambridge, Feb. 12. 1907

Dear Miss Addams,

I am just back from a fortnight in New York, where, after in the intervals of "energizing" in the rhythm of that active city (or trying to), I soothed myself by the perusal of your book. I find it hard to express the good it has done me in opening new points of view and [page 2] annihilating old ones. New perspectives of hope! I don't care about this detail or that -- it is the new setting of questions. Yours is a deeply original mind, and all so quiet and harmless! yet revolutionary in the extreme, and I should suspect that this very work would act as a ferment [through] long years to come. I read precious little sociological literature, and [page 3] my opinions in that field are worth nothing -- but I am willing to bet on you.

Of course you have sent it to Wells, and to Carpenter. Possibly to Chesterton; but I doubt whether it has occurred to you to order it sent to Bernard Shaw. I bet (again) that it will stimulate his genius in the most extraordinary way. The publishers have sent me a second copy (wasteful [page 4] things!). May I send it, with a note (and your permission) to Bernard Shaw.

Gratefully and sincerely yours,
Wm James

B. S. is a fanatic moralist of the new type, and will some day be [cared] for as such.

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