Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore; A M

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Basic Books, Sep 22, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
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Drawn to an image of her great-grandfatherŐs ornately carved cane, scholar Elisa New embarked on a journey to discover the origins of her precious family heirloom. Treading back across the paths of her ancestors, she travels from Baltimore to the Baltic to London in order to find and understand an immigrant world profoundly affected by modern German culture, from the Enlightenment through the Holocaust. Deeply ambitious in its narrative sweep, JacobŐs Cane captures the rich texture of life on several continents as NewŐs family searches to establish itself in the tobacco trade. A fascinating history of one familyŐs story of progress, innovation, and struggle, JacobŐs Cane will change the way we think about the Jewish American experience.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
TWO From Shavli in Lita
21
THREE From the River Bug to Riga
41
FOUR The Free Hanseatic City of Balteemewer
67
SEVEN Beautiful Machines
123
EIGHT What She Wears What He Wears
139
NINE The Socialeest
163
ELEVEN The Arcadia Works
203
TWELVE Jacobs Cane
223
THIRTEEN Blitzkrieg Barbarossa
249
FOURTEEN Yellow Star Gold Star
271
EPILOGUE We Expand from Shrinking
303
Acknowledgments
313
Selected Further Readings
319
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About the author (2009)

Elisa New is professor of English and American literature and language at Harvard University. She is the author of The LineŐs Eye and The Regenerate Lyric. She lives with her husband, economist Larry Summers, in Brookline, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.

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