Buy Used
$10.96
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by harvestbooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Very good dust jacket. Binding: Hardcover. / Publisher: Knopf / Pub. Date: 2006-10-24 Attributes: Book, 352 pp / Stock#: 2041605 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Stardust Lost: The Triumph, Tragedy, and Mishugas of the Yiddish Theater in America Hardcover – October 24, 2006


See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$6.49 $0.01

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400042887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400042883
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,630,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this highly readable social history of Yiddish theater, Kanfer traces the genre from its genesis in eastern Europe to its flowering on New York's Lower East Side in the early 20th century. He explores its success within the New World's intellectual ferment, as Jewish writers and performers introduced greenhorn audiences to Shakespeare and Tolstoy in a bid to enlighten the masses and stoke their social aspirations. But the plays' irony and rapid-fire timing made their flavor uniquely Yiddish, as they expressed and framed the immigrant experience—tackling issues from poverty to assimilation that elevated them above mere escapism. With the character-driven narrative skill and assiduous research that mark his biography of Lucille Ball (Ball of Fire), Kanfer limns delightful portraits of genre stalwarts like playwright/director Abraham Goldfaden and actor Jacob Adler. Though Yiddish theater had faded by mid-century, its demise hastened by Hollywood, Kanfer makes a salient case that it was more than a momentary fad. He argues for the pliancy of the "Velcro language," its DNA carried in the era's most influential acting teacher, Adler's daughter Stella—whose students included Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando. Through them, the legacy endures. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The Yiddish theater sprang up in Crimean War-era eastern Europe when a ragtag group of writers, actors, and hangers-on began cobbling together plays in Yiddish and performing them in any place large enough for two planks and passion. The form reached its ultimate expression two generations later in New York, where artists of the stature of actor Jacob Adler and playwright Sholem Aleichem transformed it into highly literate entertainment and set the stage for the American theater's ascent to world-class status. Kanfer's fascinating, sprightly book charts the Yiddish theater from Ukraine, Russia, and Romania to transplantations to London and, later, New York. He briefly (sometimes too briefly) sketches the actors, writers, and producers who helped it evolve from provincial crudity. Major players, Adler in particular, are given larger coverage, as are such other important figures of the era as Abraham Cahan, founder-editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. A book to satisfy both lovers of Yiddish culture and aficionados of the golden age of American theater and its immediate antecedents. Jack Helbig
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Boris Ibsen Thomas on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Yes, he writes with flair, but it would be nice if he got it right more often. I'm no expert, but a lot of what Kanfer writes just doesn't jibe with what other writers on this subject have been saying in recent years (folks like Sandrow, Berkowitz, Nahshon, that is). Take a look if you like, but don't accept any of this as gospel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Charles A Troy on February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kanfer tells the story of Yiddish Theater exactly as it was meant to be told: with gusto, mischief, earthiness and drama -- just the qualities that the Yiddish language itself possesses. It reads like a marvelous storyteller spinning one outrageous tale after another. Thus, the book distinguishes itself from its predecessors, which were drily factual and bereft of the life of the subject itself.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
This is a well written and extensively researched history of the

Yiddish theatre in America. None of the major performers or their

work is missed. Even the relationship of the Yiddish theatre to the regular

American theatre and the motion picture industry is touched upon.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin D. Matis on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a marvellously entertaining book. However, I would have loved more on the musicals/operettas that the author merely refered to as shund (well, he was quoting the general attitude of the day). Secondly, I would have really like the occasional footnotes.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?