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

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $21.84
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 19%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $21.84   
  • New (2) from $21.84   
  • Used (3) from $26.99   


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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“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

“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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814716953
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 329
  • Sales rank: 1,220,767
  • 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.

Read More Show Less

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
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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)