My Future Is in America: Autobiographies of Eastern European Jewish Immigrants

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Overview

In 1942, YIVO held a contest for the best autobiography by a Jewish immigrant on the theme "Why I Left the Old Country and What I Have Accomplished in America." Chosen from over two hundred entries, and translated from Yiddish, the nine life stories in My Future Is in America provide a compelling portrait of East European and American Jewish life in the immigrant generation at the turn of the twentieth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Cohen and Soyer have done a masterful job of collecting and translating these gripping immigrant narratives. A must read for anyone interested in immigration, American history, or the Jewish experience in America.”
-Beth S. Wenger,Katz Family Chair in American Jewish History, University of Pennsylvania

“This unique volume introduces readers to the complex world of Yiddish-speaking immigrants while at the same time elucidating important themes and topics of interest to those in immigration studies, ethnic studies, labor history, and literary studies.”
-Shamash

,

“A treasure trove of Yiddish autobiographical gems available for the first time in English. These heartfelt and moving narratives reveal the rich, complex and multi-textured experience of the East European Jewish immigrant milieu. The masterful translations rendered by Cohen and Soyer capture the lyric, sophisticated and often times profound dimensions of the writers' contributions. To this considerable achievement, Cohen and Soyer add a valuable introductory essay and detailed notes that make the book accessible to students, researchers and thoughtful readers alike. This volume plugs a significant gap in the field of modern Jewish studies and belongs in every library collection, where it will update and complement classics like A Bintel Brief and World of Our Fathers.”
-Mark A. Raider,author of American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise and The Plough Woman: Records of the Pioneer Women of Palestine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814716953
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 329
  • Sales rank: 1,303,792
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Jocelyn Cohen is a research associate of YIVO’s Max Weinreich Center for Advanced Jewish Studies in New York.

Daniel Soyer is associate professor of history at Fordham University. He is the author of Jewish Immigrant Associations and American Identity in New York, 1880-1939.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : Yiddish social science and Jewish immigrant autobiography 1
1 Success or failure? 18
2 Why I came to America 35
3 I have nothing to complain about 106
4 Why I left my old home and what I have accomplished in America 124
5 What drove me to America and my experiences in Europe and America 160
6 My future is in America 189
7 The movies pale in comparison 204
8 Why I left the old country and what I have accomplished in America 233
9 I haven't lost anything by coming to America 288
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