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An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba Paperback – November 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; 10.2.2007 edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813545005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813545004
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A professor at the University of Michigan, Behar seeks a better understanding of her roots and of the Jewish experience in her native Cuba. Traversing the island, Behar becomes a confidante to myriad Jewish strangers. Through one-on-one interviews and black-and-white images taken by her photographer, Humberto Mayol, she uncovers the diasporic thread that connects Cuban Jews. Familial stories of wandering beginning in the 1920s tell of displaced Polish and German Jews—escapees from anti-Semitism and Auschwitz—opening mom-and-pop shops in La Habana Vieja, becoming peddlers, replacing Yiddish with Spanish and settling into Latino life only to be uprooted within decades. An estimated 16,500 Jews lived in Cuba in the late 1950s, when a mass exodus to Miami and New York took place—a reaction to Castro's budding communist revolution. This diligent recounting and pictorial collage of interviews with adolescents, the aging, the impoverished and the political by Behar preserves in memory the people and places that make up Cuba's Jewish story. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Traversing the island, Behar becomes a confidante to a myriad of Jewish strangers. Through one-on-one interviews and black-and-white images taken by her photographer, Humberto Mayol, she uncovers the diasporic thread that connects Cuban Jews....This diligent recounting and pictorial collage of interviews with adolescents, the aging, the impoverished and the political by Behar preserves in memory the people and places that make up Cuba's Jewish story."
(Publishers Weekly)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Really wonderful book.. Had to read it for my book club and so glad I did.. A real eyeopener and written so well.
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By Berengaria on April 22, 2013
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The way the book is written was quite a surprise. The interviews carried out by Ms. Behar were warm, compassionate, joyful, touching. I come from Cuban descent from a family that apparently originated in the Canary Islands with a Jewish background. After reading this book, I am anxious to explore my background. Ms. Behar has awakened in me a feeling of belonging that is hard to describe. Reading "An Island Called Home" has been a wonderful experience. I will certainly read more books by this great author, and I hope she keeps them coming.
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By Miriam Kairey on January 26, 2013
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Ms Behar did a beautiful job in capturing the stories of people of Jewish descent who are or we're living in Cuba
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By gyuri on January 19, 2010
This book brings back many happy memories of growing up in Cuba until the Castro takeover. If nothing else I highly recommend this book for all of us who were there and those who want to know what it was like, for rich and poor alike, living in a tropical paradise.

This book demonstrates the most amazing value in the synergy of the Internet. While researching "Hanoar Hatzioni" and "Cuba" for a new website of pictures about this Zionist Youth movement, I found this book available at Amazon. With the "Look Inside" feature, I searched the book and found the picture and story of Alberto Mechulam, a long lost chaver.
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