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The Promised Land by Mary Antin

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. (from goodreads data)

Note: this book is available as an e-book for free in the public domain. Various websites host various copies. Here is the link for Project Gutenberg:

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  • Anne

    There were some interesting insights about the author and her style and the era in which she lived.

    1 · April 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Her write style makes more sense given that era. I was reading it in a modern voice.

      April 18, 2014

  • Anne

    I think this book is one that you have to keep reading in order to get to the good part. See you on Wed.

    1 · April 14, 2014

  • Jairo

    Have you guys just started reading this book? My gf and I would love to join the conversation.

    1 · April 10, 2014

    • H H

      You're welcome to join. The RSVP closes at 2:30p the day of the meeting (which is next Wed., 16th Apr.). Probably most members have been reading the book for the last few weeks, but the meeting might be still be interesting even if you haven't quite finished the book by next week.

      1 · April 11, 2014

  • Connie B.

    I've been to the library twice, just after it closed. finally called today and ordered the book - it's in brookline, newton, Framingham but not Cambridge. will take up to a week to get it.
    meanwhile I'm reading books I've had but haven't had time to get to.

    March 29, 2014

  • Marianne

    Mary Antin's book is also available through the Minuteman Library Network:
    (For those of us who are fond of old-fashioned print!)

    2 · March 25, 2014

    • H H

      Indeed! Also the Penguin version contains a nice introduction by Werner Sollors (ISBN:[masked]

      March 29, 2014

  • Anne

    H H, thanks for the info about free e-book. Looking forward to more insightful discussion.

    1 · March 19, 2014

  • H H

    Please note that Mary Antin's The Promised Land is available as a free e-book.

    1 · March 19, 2014

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