Out of the Shadow: A Russian Jewish Girlhood on the Lower East Side

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Overview

In this appealing autobiography, Rose Cohen looks back on her family's journey from Tsarist Russia to New York City's Lower East Side. Her account of their struggles and of her own coming of age in a complex new world vividly illustrates what was, for some, the American experience. First published in 1918, Cohen's narrative conveys a powerful sense of the aspirations and frustrations of an immigrant Jewish family in an alien culture.

With uncommon frankness, Cohen reports her youthful impressions of daily life in the tenements and of working conditions in garment sweatshops and domestic service. She introduces a large cast, including her co-workers, employers, mentors, family members, and friends. In simple yet moving terms, she recalls how, while confronting setbacks caused by poor health and dilemmas posed by courtship, she finds opportunities to educate herself. She also records the gradual weakening of her family's commitment to religion as they find their way from the shadow of poverty toward the mainstream of American life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Out of the Shadow . . . remains the most sensitive and insightful first-person account of a particular immigrant experience."—New York History, July 2000

'A little-known but powerful and moving account of Jewish immigrant life in turn-of-the-century America. It stands with the fiction of AnziaYezierska in beautifully illuminating the consciousness of an immigrant daughter struggling to reconcile the cultures of the old world and the new. Thomas Dublin has performed a remarkable service by bringing Cohen's work back into the light"—Susan A. Glenn, author of Daughters of the Shtetl

Library Journal
The title here pretty much says it all. In this 1918 volume, Cohen recounts her own and her family's struggle to acclimate themselves to New York after emigrating from Russia at the turn of the century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801482687
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Series: Documents in American Social History Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 367,700
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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