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From Plotzk to Boston

From Plotzk to Boston by Mary Antin
By: (1881-1949)

An intensely personal account of the immigration experience as related by a young Jewish girl from Plotzk (a town in the government of Vitebsk, Russia). Mary Antin, with her mother, sisters, and brother, set out from Plotzk in 1894 to join their father, who had journeyed to the “Promised Land” of America three years before. Fourth class railroad cars packed to suffocation, corrupt crossing guards, luggage and persons crudely “disinfected” by German officials who feared the cholera, locked “quarantine” portside, and, finally, the steamer voyage and a famiily reunited. For anyone who has ever wondered what it was like for their grandparents or great grandparents to emmigrate from Europe to the United States last century, this is a fascinating narrative. Mary Antin went on to become an immigration rights activist. She also wrote an autobiography, The Promised Land, published in 1912, which detailed her assimilation into American culture.

First Page:

From Plotzk to Boston

BY MARY ANTIN

WITH A FOREWORD BY

ISRAEL ZANGWILL

BOSTON, MASS. W. B. CLARKE & CO., PARK STREET CHURCH 1899

COPYRIGHT, 1899 BY MARY ANTIN

PRESS OF PHILIP COWEN NEW YORK CITY

DEDICATED TO

HATTIE L. HECHT

WITH THE LOVE AND GRATITUDE OF THE AUTHOR

FOREWORD

The "infant phenomenon" in literature is rarer than in more physical branches of art, but its productions are not likely to be of value outside the doting domestic circle. Even Pope who "lisped in numbers for the numbers came," did not add to our Anthology from his cradle, though he may therein have acquired his monotonous rocking metre. Immaturity of mind and experience, so easily disguised on the stage or the music stool even by adults is more obvious in the field of pure intellect. The contribution with which Mary Antin makes her début in letters is, however, saved from the emptiness of embryonic thinking by being a record of a real experience, the greatest of her life; her journey from Poland to Boston... Continue reading book >>


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