The Journey Home: Jewish Women and the American Century
In recent decades, prominent American Jewish women like Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan have made headlines and history, challenging the constraints facing women in American public life. Few realize that these women embody a hundred-year legacy of remarkable activism. From suffrage to birth control, from trade unionism to higher education, from civil rights to feminism to every aspect of popular culture, Jewish women have been in the vanguard, leading key social movements and shaping cultural consciousness. Anarchists and Zionists, 'sob sister' writers and Supreme Court justices, rabbis and reformers, personalities as diverse as Emma Goldman, Sophie Tucker and Gertrude Stein have left their indelible mark on the American century. Joyce Antler profiles these women leaders in "The Journey Home," interweaving social history with brilliant portraiture. In a fresh and lively narrative, she examines the political conflicts and personal tensions that animated their lives as they redefined the landscapes of American culture and society. To change their nation they battled class and gender prejudice, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigrant fervor. They drew sustenance from Jewish tradition but always took independent stands.
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The journey home: Jewish women and the American centuryUser Review - Book Verdict
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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