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World of Our Fathers, Irving Howe (1976)

Where we were from

by
David Bezmozgis
September 17, 2013

One of America’s most important public intellectuals, Irving Howe wrote widely on literature and the politics of the Left. World of Our Fathers, his signature book, is a towering work of social history about the immigration of Eastern European Jews to America, particularly to New York. Howe draws from personal interviews, newspaper articles, novels, poems, political tracts, and memoirs in Yiddish and English to present a rich account of this historic episode in Jewish history. At once affectionate and clear-eyed, it seems as vital today as it was in 1976—perhaps more vital, as the last echoes of that experience decay and American Jews’ sense of their origins grows fainter and more tenuous.

David Bezmozgis is the author of The Betrayers and the collection Natasha and Other Stories.

David Bezmozgis is the author of The Betrayers and the collection Natasha and Other Stories.

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