In the Catskills: A Century of Jewish Experience in "The Mountains" [NOOK Book]

Overview


Through fiction, memoir, music, and art, this book offers a glimpse of the Catskills experience over a century and assesses its continuing impact on American culture. The book features contributions from such writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer and Vivian Gornick; and original contributions from historians, sociologists, and scholars of American and Judaic studies.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
In the Catskills: A Century of Jewish Experience in

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$24.99 List Price

Overview


Through fiction, memoir, music, and art, this book offers a glimpse of the Catskills experience over a century and assesses its continuing impact on American culture. The book features contributions from such writers as Isaac Bashevis Singer and Vivian Gornick; and original contributions from historians, sociologists, and scholars of American and Judaic studies.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
The world's first milk line, the Midland Railroad, ran from New York to the Catskill foothills in 1870. According to In the Catskills, a collection of writings about the region edited by Phil Brown, the train was largely responsible for the influx of middleclass Jewish families into the area's dairy farms. Brown's anthology examines the area's religious and ethnic dynamics, from an "anti-Hebrew crusade" in 1889 to the emergence in the nineteen-forties of a bungalow community that became known as the Borscht Belt. A history of another favorite family destination, Lawrence Squeri's Better in the Poconos , also focuses on resort spots made accessible by public transportation -- "gravity" railroads gave New Yorkers a chance to visit the Pennsylvania mountains and resorts with names like Paradise Stream, Vacation Valley, and Pocono Hay-Ven.

During the fifties, three young writers beat lonely retreats to Washington's North Cascades; the photographer John Suiter's Poets on the Peaks chronicles the "rucksack revolution" summers of Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, and Jack Kerouac, each of whom worked as fire lookouts among the mountain hemlock and western red cedar. To get there, they needed more than a station wagon: Snyder travelled to his cabin outpost by way of funicular, tugboat, skyhook crane (which hoisted him to the top of the Ross Dam), and then a day's walk through the woods. Kerouac spent weeks reading the Diamond Sutra and writing poems. He remarked on the calm of the Japanese haiku poets, who "live in what they call 'Do-Nothing-Huts' and are sad, then gay, then sad, then gay, like sparrows and burros and nervous American writers." (Lauren Porcaro)

Publishers Weekly
The culture of the Catskills the wide range of hotels, bungalows, rooming houses and elaborate resorts in the mountains in New York State that catered to a mainly Jewish clientele has become, in the broadest sense, American culture: Danny Kaye, Milton Berle, Joey Adams, Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, Tony Curtis and many others got their start there. This anthology of 34 essays, memoirs, fictions and songs (illustrated with wonderful, evocative photographs) conveys some of the religious, social, historic, sexual and ethnic complexity that "the mountains," as it was called, embodied. Brown (Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memoirs of the Great Jewish Resort Area) has been the unofficial historian of this part of the Jewish-American experience, and this anthology gives a nice, if superficial, taste of the literature. There are engaging popular memoirs (like an excerpt from Joey Adams's 1966 autobiography, The Borscht Belt, and surprising fiction pieces, such as one from Abraham Cahan's classic 1927 novel, The Rise of David Levinsky, as well as the lyrics of the 1941 song "Shoot the Shtrudel to Me Yudel!" which was dedicated to Yudel Slutzsky, owner of the Arrowhead Lodge. While Brown reprints some fascinating historical material, such as Abraham Lavender and Clarence Steinberg's "Jewish Farmers of the Catskills," which charts the start of the Jewish presence in the area and the beginnings of the resort culture, many of the pieces a chapter from Herman Wouk's Marjorie Morningstar and one from Allegra Goodman's Kaaterskill Falls are easily available and add little. This is a great look at the history of Catskill culture for readers new to the material, but those looking for more depth will be disappointed. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Jewish Advocate
For those who once found respite from their usual activities in the Catskills, this collection of essays is a wonderful reminder. For everyone else, the book helps to provide a permanent record of an era that is a vital part of American Jewish History.

— Morton Teicher

The Jewish Week
Phil Brown's new book... is Catskills gold, a rich collection of short stories, essays, excerpts of novels and memoirs, along with vintage photographs, menus, postcards, and song lyrics. More than a nostalgic album, the book is evocative, serious, literary, and fun, too.
Providence Journal (RI)
A nostalgic pastiche of fiction, memoir, photography, art, postcards, menus, etc., celebrating Jewish resort life in the Catskills.
Newark Star-Ledger
A warm, witty and schmaltzy book.
National Post
A gripping and powerful depiction of a traumatized and emergent community engaged in the pursuit of leisure. The fiction, essays and memoirs all share a dreamlike intensity of emotion and degree of detail that create the sense that the contributors are still revisiting the Catskills in their sleep and trying to describe it when they wake.
The Jerusalem Post
Delightful.
Brandeis Review
Whether describing the history and landscape of the Catskill region, the culinary inventions, or the legendary entertainment, this anthology evokes all the flavors and memories of a bygone era.
Contemporary Sociology
Phil Brown's edited collection is a warm, charming, and valuable work. Much of the writing is simply gorgeous, a mixture of meticulously remembered details and the wisdom of the passing years.

— Paul Buhle

Jewish Advocate - Morton Teicher
For those who once found respite from their usual activities in the Catskills, this collection of essays is a wonderful reminder. For everyone else, the book helps to provide a permanent record of an era that is a vital part of American Jewish History.
Contemporary Sociology - Paul Buhle
Phil Brown's edited collection is a warm, charming, and valuable work. Much of the writing is simply gorgeous, a mixture of meticulously remembered details and the wisdom of the passing years.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231504409
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 367
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author


Phil Brown is a professor of sociology and environmental studies at Brown University. He is co-founder and President of the Catskills Institute (a historical preservation society) and author of Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 1: History
Introduction; Phil Brown
Jewish Farmers of the Catskills; Abraham Lavender and Clarence Steinberg
Hotels and the Holocaust; Reuben Wallenrod
The Catskills at the End of World War II; Martin Boris
Part 2: Boarding House, Bungalow, and Kuchalayn Life
The Yearning Heifer; Isaac Bashevis Singer
Grine Felder--A Place in the Country; Martin Boris
Bingo by the Bungalow; Thane Rosenbaum
Bungalow Colony Life; Irwin Richman
Part 3: Hotel Life
Dinner at the Rigi Kulm House; Abraham Cahan
Old Stock; Hortense Calisher
Young Workers in the Hotels; Phil Brown
The Pool; Eileen Pollack
Growing up at Grossinger's; Tania Grossinger
Reflections on the Delmar Hotel and the Demise of the Catskills; Jerry A. Jacobs
Part 4: Entertainment
Comics, Singers, and Tummlers; Joey Adams (with Henry Tobias)
The Social Director in the Adult Summer Camp; Moss Hart
The Casino; Harvey Jacobs
The Fine art of Mountain Tummling; Joyce Wadler
Shoot the Shtrudel to me Yudel--music and lyrics; Henry Foner
Part 5: Romance
Miss Tevkin; Abraham Cahan
Forbidden Fruit; Harvey Jacobs
Amy Lourie; Terry Kay
Part 6: Religion
Bungalow Summer; Robert Eisenberg
The Shul in Kaaterskill Falls; Allegra Goodman
Food
Eating at the Hotel; Sarah Sandberg
The Catskills Remembered; Vivian Gornick
Bungalow; Elizabeth Ehrlich


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)