Nobodys Boy and His Pals: The Story of Jack Robbins and the Boys Brotherhood Republic

Lecture Description

In this engaging lecture about social reformer Jack Robbins, the Boys’ Brotherhood Republic, and their legacy, Hartog challenges ideas about the history of American childhood and the law. Based on extensive research, he presents an examination of the legal histories of Progressive reform, childhood, criminality, repression, and free speech. In 1914, social reformer Jack Robbins and a group of adolescent boys in Chicago founded the Boys’ Brotherhood Republic, an unconventional and unusual institution. During a moral panic about delinquent boys, Robbins did not seek to rehabilitate and/or punish wayward youths. Instead, the boys governed themselves, democratically and with compassion for one another, and lived by their mantra “So long as there are boys in trouble, we too are in trouble.” Filled with persistent mysteries and surprising connections, Nobody’s Boy and His Pals illuminates themes of childhood and adolescence, race and ethnicity, sexuality, wealth and poverty, and civil liberties, across the American Century.


Childhood and Youth Constitutional and Legal

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