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Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora

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Editor Nancy L. Green and an international group of scholars have assembled a rich selection of source materials--newspaper articles, letters, memoirs, posters, and literature--to reveal the many-faceted experience of Jewish workers who emigrated from Eastern Europe to the West in the early decades of the century. Through the voices of the workers themselves, their observers, and their critics, we come to understand the lives of men and women in a variety of circumstances--at home, in the sweatshop, in school, and on the picket line. To what extent were these Jewish workers alike? How did local conditions shape their experiences? What role did Jewish workers play in internationalizing labor movements? In addressing such questions Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora provides a much-needed comparative perspective on the Jewish working class.

Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora

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Ignored at worst, seen as ephemeral at best, the Jewish worker remains an anomaly. The cap makers, tinsmiths, diamond workers, and shoemakers who lived on the Lower East Sides, the East Ends, the Pletzls of the major Western cities in the early years of this century have all but faded from memory in the history of modern Jewish social mobility. Now the voices of these Jewish workers can be heard in a unique collection that compares their experiences in Berlin, Paris, London, New York, Amsterdam, and Buenos Aires. Editor Nancy L. Green and an international group of scholars have assembled a rich selection of source materials--newspaper articles, letters, memoirs, posters, and literature--to reveal the many-faceted experience of Jewish workers who emigrated from Eastern Europe to the West in the early decades of the century. Through the voices of the workers themselves, their observers, and their critics, we come to understand the lives of men and women in a variety of circumstances--at home, in the sweatshop, in school, and on the picket line. To what extent were these Jewish workers alike? How did local conditions shape their experiences? What role did Jewish workers play in internationalizing labor movements? In addressing such questions Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora provides a much-needed comparative perspective on the Jewish working class.

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