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Jew Boy Paperback – October 10, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Foxrock Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (October 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964374099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964374096
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

He is able to combine humor and pathos with a cold-blooded sense of irony ... frightening and deeply moving, Kaufman's memoir is a remarkable document Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Print on Demand (Paperback) edition.

About the Author

Alan Kaufman is the award-winning editor of two anthologies of new American writing and the author of a poetry collection Who are We? He is the founder and editor of the controversial magazine Davka: Jewish Cultural Revolution and the web'zine www.tattoojew.com. He lives in San Francisco --This text refers to the Print on Demand (Paperback) edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Helene Hoffman on May 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Like the author, I am also a child of Holocaust Survivors. There are many excellent things about this book. This book clearly demonstrates that suffering did not always end with the Survivors themselves; sometimes we, as their children, also suffered. I put this book at the "extreme" end of 2nd generation stories; Kaufman's mother was very disturbed, and physically abused him. In addition, his father, even though he wasn't a Survivor, did nothing to protect his son from his mother's wrath. If this alone did not make for a miserable childhood, his father squandered his income, and Kaufman's parents provided little of the author's needs, both physical and emotional; one horrific scene was how they cruelly tricked him, and refused to give him the Bar Mitzvah they had promised. One excellent part of the book, is when the author describes very well the unique experiences of children of Survivors. One fine example is when he writes about a favorite teacher, an American Jew from Michigan, who lauds his writing abilities, but at the same time pities him for having a Survivor mother. He writes about how deeply inferior he felt in that moment; that the gulf between him and his teacher was "immense", as she was "truly American", and no matter what he did, he could never be. I have felt this so many times myself, but only in this book have I seen it described so perfectly. He goes on to write about his great isolation, how it lead to alcoholism, but how, in the end, it was writing poetry which lead him to sobriety, and to regaining his soul. ...This book is a very honest portrayal of the most difficult childhood of a 2nd generation person I have ever read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. T Waldmann on February 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't remember the last time I was moved so emotionally by a memoir. Although first published in 2000, I think the chaos and violence of February 2003 make it an even more important book, a must read for everyone concerned about the "approaching clouds of war" and the current world-wide epidemic of racism, nationalism, religious intolerance, and fear of the "other." Kaufman is a great writer and poet. "Who Are We?", the poem that ends the book, is worthy of serious study in our schools; and his observations of places and people are beautifully written, whether describing the bleakness of a Nebraska landscape or the changes in the mien of an Israeli soldier on a bus: "... in time of war you can tell when a soldier is thinking about the war. ... she woke, looked up into his eyes, saw it there, struggled to sit upright, her hand going to his face, but he pushed it away. His shoulder shrank up against the cold glass window filled with the world that he had defied to touch him and it had touched him in that strange way that war touches people and makes them prefer cold glass to a warm hand." Read it, please.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I grew up in Brooklyn in the same period that Kaufman grew up in the Bronx--the 50's and 60's. His portrayal of his parents represent very common types of the period--a mildly psychotic mother and an uneducated robotic mope of a father. These types were by no means typical of Holocaust survivors in the neighborhood who were generally quiet and dignified. Alan Kaufman had a very bad childhood but I wonder how much was due to madness and stupidity and how much was the result of the Holocaust.
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