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Jews in the U.s.
Making It
Making It
Paperback      ISBN: 1681370808
A controversial memoir about American intellectual life and academia and the relationship between politics, money, and education.

Norman Podhoretz, the son of Jewish immigrants, grew up in the tough Brownsville section of Brooklyn, attended Columbia University on a scholarship, and later received degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Cambridge University. Making It is his blistering account of fighting his way out of Brooklyn and into, then out of, the Ivory Tower, of his military service, and finally of his induction into the ranks of what he calls "the Family," the small group of left-wing and largely Jewish critics and writers whose opinions came to dominate and increasingly politicize the American literary scene in the fifties and sixties. It is a Balzacian story of raw talent and relentless and ruthless ambition. It is also a closely observed and in many ways still-pertinent analysis of the tense and more than a little duplicitous relationship that exists in America between intellect and imagination, money, social status, and power.

The Family responded to the book with outrage, and Podhoretz soon turned no less angrily on them, becoming the fierce neoconservative he remains to this day. Fifty years after its first publication, this controversial and legendary book remains a riveting autobiography, a book that can be painfully revealing about the complex convictions and needs of a complicated man as well as a fascinating and essential document of mid-century American cultural life.
Jews in Minnesota
Jews in Minnesota
Paperback      ISBN: 0873514181

The earliest arrivals were German Jews who came when the territory was newly created. By the 1880s they were joined by immigrants from eastern Europe. Many settled in small towns or walked the roads as peddlers. Some found homes in the Iron Range towns of Virginia and Hibbing, but the majority lived in the Twin Cities. Gradually, as they clustered in neighborhoods, founded synagogues and community organizations, and sought to create Jewish homes, the two groups merged. A hundred years later, the process was repeated when immigrants from Russia arrived.

Authors Hyman Berman and Linda Mack Schloff discuss such community leaders as activist Fanny Brin, rabbi and newspaper editor Samuel Deinard, and educator Dr. George J. Gordon in the context of local and international challenges to the Jewish community.

Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir
Foreskin's Lament
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 1594483337
A New York Times Notable Book, and a "chaotic, laugh riot" (San Francisco Chronicle) of a memoir.

Shalom Auslander was raised with a terrified respect for God. Even as he grew up and was estranged from his community, his religion and its traditions, he could not find the path to a life where he didn't struggle daily with the fear of God's formidable wrath. Foreskin's Lament reveals Auslander's "painfully, cripplingly, incurably, miserably religious" youth in a strict, socially isolated Orthodox Jewish community, and recounts his rebellion and efforts to make a new life apart from it. His combination of unrelenting humor and anger renders a rich and fascinating portrait of a man grappling with his faith and family.
The Promised Land
The Promised Land
Paperback      ISBN: 0143106775
For the centennial of its first publication: a new edition of a seminal work on the American immigrant experience

Weaving introspection with political commentary, biography with history, The Promised Land, first published in 1912, brings to life the transformation of an Eastern European Jewish immigrant into an American citizen. Mary Antin recounts the process of uprooting, transportation, replanting, acclimatization, and development that took place in her] own soul and reveals the impact of a new culture and new standards of behavior on her family. A feeling of division--between Russia and America, Jews and Gentiles, Yiddish and English--ever-present in her narrative is balanced by insights, amusing and serious, into ways to overcome it. In telling the story of one person, The Promised Land illuminates the lives of hundreds of thousands.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Broken and the Whole: Discovering Joy After Heartbreak
The Broken and the Whole
Discovering Joy After Heartbreak
Paperback      ISBN: 1451656238
A wise, uplifting memoir about a rabbi's search for understanding and his discovery of hope and joy after his young son suffered a catastrophic brain-stem stroke: "Deeply moving, extraordinarily thought-provoking, and entirely humane" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

As a young, ambitious rabbi at one of New York's largest synagogues, Charles Sherman had high expectations for what his future would hold--a happy and healthy family, professional success, and recognition. Then, early one morning in 1986, everything changed. His son Eyal spiked a fever and was soon in serious respiratory distress. Doctors discovered a lesion on the four-year-old's brain stem. Following high-risk surgery, Eyal suffered a stroke. Sherman and his wife later learned that their son would never walk, talk, feed himself, or breathe on his own again--yet his mind was entirely intact. He was still the curious, intelligent boy they had always known.

The ground had shifted beneath the Sherman family's feet, yet over the next thirty years, they were able to find comfort, pleasure, and courage in one another, their community, their faith, and in the love they shared. The experience pointed Rabbi Sherman toward the answers of some of life's biggest questions: To what lengths should parents go to protect their children? How can we maintain faith in God when tragedy occurs? Is it possible to experience joy alongside continuing heartbreak?

Now, with deep insight, refreshing honesty, humor, and intelligence, Charles Sherman reflects back on his life and describes his struggle to address and ultimately answer these questions. The Broken and the Whole "inspirationally sets forth how to survive in the face of calamity" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) beautifully showing what it means to embrace life after everything you've known has been shattered to pieces.
Landmark of the Spirit: The Eldridge Street Synagogue
Landmark of the Spirit
The Eldridge Street Synagogue
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0300124708

The first major history of the gloriously restored Eldridge Street Synagogue, the first synagogue in the United States built by east European Jews, has a seminal place in the history of American Jewry.

New York City's magnificent Eldridge Street Synagogue was built in 1887 in response to the great wave of Jewish immigrants who fled persecution in eastern Europe. Finding their way to the Lower East Side, the new arrivals formed a vibrant Jewish community that flourished from the 1850s until the 1940s. Their synagogue served not only as a place of worship but also as a singularly important center in the development of American Judaism.

A near ruin in the 1980s that was recently reopened after a massive twenty-year restoration, the Eldridge Street Synagogue has been named a National Historic Landmark. But as Bill Moyers tells us in his foreword, the synagogue is also "a landmark of the spirit, . . . the spirit of a new nation committed to the old idea of liberty."

Annie Polland uses elements of the building's architecture--the fa ade, the benches, the grooves worn into the sanctuary floor--as points of departure to discuss themes, people, and trends at various moments in the synagogue's history, particularly during its heyday from 1887 until the 1930s. Exploring the synagogue's rich archives, the author shines new light on the religious life of immigrant Jews, introduces various rabbis, cantors and congregants, and analyzes the significance of this special building in the context of the larger American-Jewish experience.

For more information, go to: www.EldridgeStreet.org

The Baseball Talmud: The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players
The Baseball Talmud
The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0061558435

From the icons of the game to the players who got their big break but never quite broke through, The Baseball Talmud provides a wonderful historical narration of Major League Jewish Baseball in America. All the stats, the facts, the stories, and the (often unheralded) glory.

The Baseball Talmud reveals that there is far more to Jewish baseball than Hank Greenberg's powerful slugging and Sandy Koufax's masterful control. From Ausmus to Zinn, Berg to Kinsler, Holtzman to Yeager, and many others, Megdal draws upon the lore and the little-known details that increase our enjoyment of the game, including:

  • Which Jewish player spent a portion of his retirement as a spy
  • Who received $50,000 and a car to quit school and join the Major Leagues
  • How many players sat out of games scheduled on Yom Kippur
  • Which famous player chose baseball over becoming a rabbi

But this is more than just stories. Megdal, a stat geek himself, uses the wealth of modern sabermetrics to determine the greatest Jewish players at each position, the all-time Jewish All-Star Team, and how they would rate against the greatest teams in baseball history, from the 1906 Chicago Cubs to the 1998 New York Yankees.

The Baseball Talmud rewrites the history of Jewish baseball and is a book that every baseball fan should own.

After They Closed the Gates: Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921-1965
After They Closed the Gates
Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921-1965
Paperback      ISBN: 022656522x

In 1921 and 1924, the United States passed laws to sharply reduce the influx of immigrants into the country. By allocating only small quotas to the nations of southern and eastern Europe, and banning almost all immigration from Asia, the new laws were supposed to stem the tide of foreigners considered especially inferior and dangerous. However, immigrants continued to come, sailing into the port of New York with fake passports, or from Cuba to Florida, hidden in the holds of boats loaded with contraband liquor. Jews, one of the main targets of the quota laws, figured prominently in the new international underworld of illegal immigration. However, they ultimately managed to escape permanent association with the identity of the "illegal alien" in a way that other groups, such as Mexicans, thus far, have not.

In After They Closed the Gates, Libby Garland tells the untold stories of the Jewish migrants and smugglers involved in that underworld, showing how such stories contributed to growing national anxieties about illegal immigration. Garland also helps us understand how Jews were linked to, and then unlinked from, the specter of illegal immigration. By tracing this complex history, Garland offers compelling insights into the contingent nature of citizenship, belonging, and Americanness.
After Weegee: Essays on Contemporary Jewish American Photographers
After Weegee
Essays on Contemporary Jewish American Photographers
Hardcover      ISBN: 0815609876

Examining a range of styles from the gritty vernacular sensibility of Weegee (Arthur Fellig) to the glitzy theatricality of Annie Leibovitz, Morris takes a thoughtful look at ten American photographers, exploring the artists' often ambivalent relationships to their Jewish backgrounds. Going against the grain of most criticism on the subject, Morris argues that it is difficult to label Jewish American photographers as unequivocal outsiders or insiders with respect to mainstream American culture. He shows it is equally difficult to assign a characteristic style to such a varied group, who range from self-taught photographers to those trained in art school. In eclectic ways, however, the contemporary photographers highlighted in After Weegee carry on the social justice and documentary tradition associated with Sid Grossman, Aaron Siskind, and the primarily Jewish Photo League of the 1930s by chronicling the downside of the Reagan revolution of the 1980s.

Rather than record movements or trends in current Jewish American photography, Morris focuses in-depth on the work of Bruce Davidson, Jim Goldberg, Mel Rosenthal, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Allen Ginsberg, Annie Leibovitz, Tyagan Miller, and Marc Asnin. Like Weegee, these photographers share a tendency toward socially informed expression and an interest in self-expression via the operations of photography, inevitably shaped by histories of socially conscious or documentary imaging. Moving between photo history, cultural history, and close readings of the images, Morris traces a common thread among contemporary secular Jewish American photographers, artists who link the construction of personal identity to the representation of history. After Weegee broadens our understanding of the relationship between Jewishness and contemporary photography, challenging us to take a fresh look at much of what has come to be canonized as modern, postwar, and art photography.
Against All Odds: Holocaust Survivors and the Successful Lives They Made in America
Against All Odds
Holocaust Survivors and the Successful Lives They Made in America
Paperback      ISBN: 1560008652

Against All Odds is the first comprehensive look at the 140,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors who came to America and the lives they have made here. William Helmreich writes of their experiences beginning with their first arrival in the United States: the mixed reactions they encountered from American Jews who were not always eager to receive them; their choices about where to live in America; and their efforts in finding marriage partners with whom they felt most comfortable-most often other survivors.

In preparation, Helmreich spent more than six years traveling the United States, listening to the personal stories of hundreds of survivors, and examining more than 15,000 pages of data as well as new material from archives that have never before been available to create this remarkable, groundbreaking work. What emerges is a picture that is sharply different from the stereotypical image of survivors as people who are chronically depressed, anxious, and fearful.

This intimate, enlightening work explores questions about prevailing over hardship and adversity: how people who have gone through such experiences pick up the threads of their lives; where they obtain the strength and spirit to go on; and, finally, what lessdns the rest of us can learn about overcoming tragedy.