The Promised Land

Front Cover
Penguin, 1997 - Social Science - 305 pages
10 Reviews
Interweaving introspection with political commentaries, biography with history, The Promised Land (1912) brings to life the transformation of an East European Jewish immigrant into an American citizen. Mary Antin recounts "the process of uprooting, transportation, replanting, acclimitization, and development that took place in my own soul," and reveals the impact of a new culture and new standards of behavior on her family. A feeling of divisions—between Russia and America, Jews and Gentiles, Yiddish and English—ever-present in her narrative, is balanced by insights, amusing and serious, into ways to overcome them. In telling the story of one person, The Promised Land illuminates the lives of hundreds of thousands.

This Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics edition includes eighteen black-and-white photographs from the book's first edition and reprints for the first time Antin's essay "How I wrote The Promised Land."

  

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Review: The Promised Land

User Review  - Hubert - Goodreads

What a well-written, insightful memoir from a young woman who grew up in the Pale of Settlement and emigrates to America in the late 1800s. Antin writes in a highly introspective manner, gleaning the ... Read full review

Review: The Promised Land

User Review  - Chaim Rube - Goodreads

Fascinating insight into the of life an immigrant from the pale of settlement in Russia to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. A poignant perspective of the Jewish-American ... Read full review

Contents

VIII
5
IX
26
X
36
XI
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XII
65
XIII
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XIV
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XV
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XXI
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XXII
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XXVI
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XXVII
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XXVIII
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XVI
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XVIII
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XIX
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XXIX
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XXX
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XXXI
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Copyright

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Page xi - After all everybody, that is, everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves in order to tell what is inside themselves. That is why writers have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live really. The second one is romantic, it is separate from themselves, it is not real but it is really there.
Page xxxix - It is not the Jew who sticks proudly to the faith of his fathers and boasts of that venerable culture of his who is dangerous to America, but the Jew who has lost the Jewish fire and become a mere elementary, grasping animal.
Page 3 - I can never forget, for I bear the scars. But I want to forget — sometimes I long to forget. I think I have thoroughly assimilated my past — I have done its bidding — I want now to be of to-day. It is painful to be consciously of two worlds. The Wandering Jew in me seeks forgetfulness.

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About the author (1997)

Mary Antin (June 13, 1881 - May 15, 1949) was an American author and immigration rights activist. Born to Israel and Esther Weltman Antin, a Jewish family in Polotsk, Belarus, at that time part of Russia, she immigrated to the Boston area with her mother and siblings in 1894, moving from Chelsea to Ward 8 in Boston's South End, a notorious slum, as the venue of her father's store changed. She attended Girls' Latin School, now Boston Latin Academy, after finishing primary school. She married Amadeus William Grabau, a geologist, in 1901, and moved to New York City where she attended Teachers College of Columbia University and Barnard College. Antin is best known for her 1912 autobiography The Promised Land, which describes her public school education and assimilation into American culture, as well as life for Jews in Czarist Russia. After its publication, Antin lectured on her immigrant experience to many audiences across the country, and became a major supporter for Theodore Roosevelt and his Progressive Party. During World War I, while she campaigned for the Allied cause, her husband's pro-German activities precipitated their separation and her physical breakdown. Amadeus was forced to leave his post at Columbia University to work in China, where he was one of the pioneers in Chinese geology. She was never physically strong enough to visit him there. During the war, Amadeus was interned by the Japanese and died shortly after his release in 1946. Mary died of cancer, May 15, 1949.

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