THE GOLDEN LAND: The Story of Jewish Immigration to America

Joseph Telushkin, Author . Harmony $29.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-609-60904-0

This brief, illustrated account of four centuries of Jewish immigration to the "golden land," is American Jewish history for beginners. Telushkin, a noted popularizer of Jewish history and culture (Jewish Literacy, etc.), offers an introduction to the first arrival of Jews to New Amsterdam in 1654 (leaving Brazil a step ahead of the Portuguese Inquisition), to the Lower East Side in the early 20th century and other historical moments. Telushkin's narrative touches on such themes as "A Passion for Education" and "Jews and Popular Culture" and highlights significant trends such as German peddlers who founded retail empires and Jewish contributions to the entertainment industry. He also takes notes of poverty and conflicts between established German Jews and the wave of Russian immigrants around the turn of the 20th century. The text is supplemented with photographs, and removable artifacts in reproduction (à la the Griffin and Sabine series) that augment almost every spread: a pamphlet advertising a Yiddish theater production, a handwritten copy of Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus," a multilingual flyer urging Cleveland immigrants to send their children to public schools. The simple text and trendy pullouts may make this attractive to younger readers. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/21/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
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