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Description - Exiles on Main Street by Julian Levinson

How have Jews reshaped their identities as Jews in the face of the radical newness called America? Julian Levinson explores the ways in which exposure to American literary culture-in particular the visionary tradition identified with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman-led American Jewish writers to a new understanding of themselves as Jews. Discussing the lives and work of writers such as Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Ludwig Lewisohn, Waldo Frank, Anzia Yezierska, I. J. Schwartz, Alfred Kazin, and Irving Howe, Levinson concludes that their interaction with American culture led them to improvise new and meaningful ways of being Jewish. In contrast to the often expressed view that the diaspora experience leads to assimilation, Exiles on Main Street traces an arc of return to Jewish identification and describes a vital and creative Jewish American literary culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780253350817
ISBN-10: 0253350816
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Indiana University Press
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publish Date: 2-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Julian Levinson

Julian Levinson is the Samuel Shetzer Professor of American Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.