John & Anzia: An American Romance

Overview

It is 1917. The Lower East Side of Manhattan seethes with war fever. Anna Yezierska a young Polish Jew, destined one day to be famous for her vivid portrayals of immigrant life against all possibility meets the most famous man in America, the great 'commonsense philosopher' John Dewey. She is spontaneous, bursting with ambition and feeling; he suffers from shyness and self-consciousness.
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Overview

It is 1917. The Lower East Side of Manhattan seethes with war fever. Anna Yezierska a young Polish Jew, destined one day to be famous for her vivid portrayals of immigrant life against all possibility meets the most famous man in America, the great 'commonsense philosopher' John Dewey. She is spontaneous, bursting with ambition and feeling; he suffers from shyness and self-consciousness.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rosen ( At the Center ) bases her love story on archival evidence that renowned philosopher and teacher John Dewey had an affair in 1917 with a Polish immigrant half his age, Anzia Yezierska. Finding clues about the affair in Dewey's poetry and Yezierska's ethnic tales of immigrant life, Rosen frames her story with an explanatory foreword and afterword. Beginning and ending first-person narrative segments are in the voice of Anzia, the only character who really comes to life. Anzia is charming (``Scylla and Charybdis, a phrase from her full-of-gaps reading, were for all she knew two avenues in Minsk.'') but Dewey and other players, from Dr. Albert Barnes of Argyrol fame to the body aligner Dr. F. M. Alexander, enjoy only a sort of half-life, portrayed by a limiting combination of historic accuracy and fictional embellishment. As with many fictional treatments based on historic characters, allegiance to the truth ultimately hobbles the interests of fiction. Nonetheless, this is a rich story with wonderful moments. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815604518
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Series: Library of Modern Jewish Literature
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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