THE JEWISH AMERICAN FAMILY ALBUM

An attractive and extremely useful entry by the Hooblers (The Chinese American Family Album, 1994, etc.) in the American Family Album series, this documentary history covers the mid-17th century to the present. The authors combine short essays with over 130 brief excerpts from letters, diaries, memoirs, and interviews, accompanied by more than 175 black-and-white photographs (most quite small, some blurry with age). Arranged topically (e.g., ``Leaving Home,'' ``New Arrivals,'' ``Pioneers in the West,'' etc.) rather than strictly chronologically, the volume's many voices tell of the persecutions that motivated waves of immigration, the hardships of the journey, and the struggles and successes of life in America. This is for a somewhat younger audience than Milton Meltzer's The Jewish Americans: A History in Their Own Words (1982), with Holocaust testimonies that are not as harrowing as those he cites; Meltzer's provides longer quotations from fewer sources (including about a dozen of those found here) and lacks illustration. (chronology, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9+)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508135-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1995

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LOUIS FARRAKHAN AND THE NATION OF ISLAM

Despite the title, this is a terse, impeccable history of the Nation of Islam, with emphasis in the last half to the role of Farrakhan in that organization and including his appearance at the Million Man March in October 1995. Haskin (with Kathleen Benson, Count Your Way Through Greece, p. 899) focuses less on Farrakhan than on the political aspects of his life, for which he provides background; thus, half of this carefully researched book traces the history of the Nation of Islam from its birth in the 1930s, through the assassination of Malcolm X, and on to the current leadership. The seeds of Farrakhan's anti- white sentiments were sown while he was a child; as he witnessed how economics, racial hatred, and lack of education further limited African-Americans from achieving true equality, his resentment blossomed. His rise through the Nation of Islam is cloudy, although Haskins is careful to document Farrakhan's anti-Semitism and shows its effect on Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign. Readers will also benefit from the examination of Farrakhan's rhetorical techniques: soft-spoken and diplomatic in interviews with mostly white audiences, screaming anti-white epithets in front of mostly black audiences (black-and-white photos allegedly capture such moments). Farrakhan is such an explosive figure that any objective coverage of him sounds like adulation; while Haskins exhibits great care in scholarship and use of language, Farrakhan remains inscrutable. (b&w photos, notes, further reading, index) (Biography. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8027-8422-4

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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UNSETTLED

THE PROBLEM OF LOVING ISRAEL

A deeply personal investigation of an extremely complex moral, political and religious issue by an author whose love for and attachment to the state of Israel is tempered by his commitment to justice for all. Israel was born out of the guilt and shame of a world that did little to rescue the six million Jews annihilated in Europe. The author’s relatives count both among the perished and the survivors, and many of those made their way to the nascent state to build a life. Aronson, who spent time in Israel as a teenager and a young man, here tells the story of the triumph and tragedy of the state—its promise as a lifeline and a home for the dispossessed and its culpability in displacing the Arabs who inhabited the new homeland. His inner turmoil about how to love something that is imperfect emerges palpably from each page. Both a soul-searching personal essay and a fact-filled history, this slim volume is as even-handed an explanation of the Gordian knot that is Israel/Palestine as one is likely to find. (notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-1261-3

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Ginee Seo/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2008

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