Scholars have tended to treat the ideas of American social reformer Jane Addams as unique, failing to compare them sufficiently with those of other social activists and public intellectuals. Recent work, however, has situated her more thoroughly in the thinking and events of her time. For example, labor historians have usefully contextualized Addams' close work with labor unions in the 1890s. When Addams' interest in the workers' reform agenda is understood in relation to the history of trade unionism in Chicago and its impressive record of political action, her contribution emerges as far more cooperative than groundbreaking. Workers influenced her in ways not preciously appreciated.