The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America

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9780805211016: The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America
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Throughout the twentieth century, American Jewish women have made history, challenging the political and cultural constraints facing women in every aspect of American life. From suffrage to birth control, from trade unionism to civil rights and feminism, from education to literature and the arts, Jewish women have been in the vanguard, leading key social movements and shaping cultural consciousness.
        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.

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Review:

Jewish identity is proved by motherhood, and it's a fairly well-founded stereotype that women are the most powerful people in American Jewish families. (Think of Rhoda's mother or Woody Allen's Mother-in-the-Sky.) Yet many Jewish communities still view women as second-class citizens, which exacerbates the social alienation that immigration and assimilation have wrought on many American Jewish women. The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America is Joyce Antler's attempt to find common ground among American Jewish women in the 20th century. The book interweaves social history, including Antler's memories of her own mother and grandmother, with the stories of Jewish women who have been influential in the vanguard of social and cultural movements such as suffrage, civil rights, birth control, trade unionism, and feminism. Bella Abzug, Edna Ferber, Gertrude Stein, Betty Friedan, and Barbra Streisand are among the leading characters in Antler's narrative, which is an impressive monument to Jewish women's achievements so far--and will be an indispensable comfort and guide to Jewish women in the future. --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Back Cover:

"Thrilling, important, generative.... Wonderful portraits of America's most fascinating Jewish women comprise this heartening weave of history, literature, entertainment, and politics."
--Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt

"In teaching us about our Jewish-American foremothers, this groundbreaking work--an ambitious blend of history, biography and consciousness-raising--teaches us about ourselves."
--Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of
Deborah, Golda and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America

"Antler's grand pageant of American Jewish female radicalism is more nourishing for the soul than a bowl of chicken soup."
--Susan Brownmiller,
author of Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape

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