The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America

The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America

by Joyce Antler
     
 

Interweaving social history with lively biographical portraits, Joyce Antler profiles women ranging from Emma Goldman, Sophie Tucker, and Golda Meir to Bella Abzug, Gertrude Stein, and Wendy Wasserstein, examining the political conflicts and personal tensions that have animated their lives as they made their mark on American society. Meticulously researched and…  See more details below

Overview

Interweaving social history with lively biographical portraits, Joyce Antler profiles women ranging from Emma Goldman, Sophie Tucker, and Golda Meir to Bella Abzug, Gertrude Stein, and Wendy Wasserstein, examining the political conflicts and personal tensions that have animated their lives as they made their mark on American society. Meticulously researched and fascinating to read, The Journey Home is a valuable resource that will inspire all women.

Editorial Reviews

BUST Magazine
At a time when Judaism is obsessed with reinvention, it's easy for postmodern Jewgirls like me to fancy ourselves the saviors of our faith, lifting our sisters from the oppressive clutches of kosher kitchens and all-male rituals. My, how this book humbled me....These early women struggled...to balance cultural and gender identities, to pursue their fiery intellectual passions, and to set their own place a tthe Seder table.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This overview of the lives of outstanding American Jewish women from 1890 to the present emphasizes their achievements against the background of their religion. According to Antler (Lucy Sprague Mitchell: The Making of a Modern Woman), the accomplishments of Jewish women have been marginalized in most histories of American life. She has taken 50 women from many backgrounds including literature (Edna Ferber, Gertrude Stein), show business (Sophie Tucker, Fannie Brice), Zionism (Henrietta Szold, Jessie Sampter) and feminism (Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug), and here gives a well-researched and lively portrait of each as well as highlighting their connections to their religion. Antler convincingly argues that Jewish women took activist roles in 20th-century social movements because fighting for justice is part of the Jewish tradition. She also describes how each woman came to terms with having both a female and a Jewish identity. (Mar.)
Library Journal
In this fascinating and persuasive work, Antler (women's studies, Brandeis Univ.) explores the lives of notable 20th-century Jewish American women from Emma Lazarus, Emma Goldman, and Golda Meir to Bella Abzug, Adrienne Rich, and Wendy Wasserstein. Antler traces childhood influences and how each woman rose to her accomplishments. She clearly demonstrates how "a century of impressive achievement nonetheless also chronicles a cross-generational pattern of tension, ambivalence, struggle, and displacement." She emphasizes how Jewish women today are "the most dynamic resource for the survival and continuity of Jewish life in America." She also provides valuable information on lesser-known figures. A seminal study; highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.Marcia G. Welsh, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805211016
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1998
Edition description:
1 PBK ED
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.23(h) x 1.17(d)

What People are saying about this

Blanche Wiesen Cook
Thrilling, important, generative. -- Author of Eleanor Roosevelt
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
In teaching about our Jewish-American foremothers, this groundbreaking work -- an ambitious blend of history, biography, and consciousness-raising -- teaches us about ourselves. Never again can Jews, feminists, or scholars of American studies claim ignorance of the remarkable contributions of Jewish women to our commom heritage.
Susan Brownmiller
Antler's grand pageant of American Jewish female radicalism is more nourishing for the soul than a bowl of chicken soup.

Meet the Author

Joyce Antler is the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture and the chair of the department of American studies at Brandeis University. She is the author of, among other works, Lucy Sprague Mitchell: The Making of a Modern Woman and is the editor of America and I: Short Stories of American Jewish Women Writers.  She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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