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The Rise of David Levinsky, Abraham Cahan (1917)

The ultimate immigrant’s tale

Seth Lipsky
September 17, 2013

Abraham Cahan created in The Rise of David Levinsky one of the classics of American—and Jewish—realism. H.L. Mencken doubted whether “any more vivid presentation of the immigrant’s hopes and disappointments, thoughts and feelings, virtues and vices has ever been got upon paper” and added: “All other novels upon the same theme fall short, in one way or another, of this one.”

Seth Lipsky, formerly editor of the English-language edition of the Forward, is founding editor of The New York Sun.