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Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Bilingual edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810997495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810997493
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Buhle, retired from Brown University, has written and edited 42 books, including the award-winning Art of Harvey Kurtzman, Jews and American Comics, and the three-volume Jews and American Popular Culture. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Harvey Pekar (1939–2010) is best known for his autobiographical comic book series American Splendor and Our Cancer Year, which was made into an Academy Award–nominated film starring Paul Giamatti in 2003.


More About the Author

David Lasky has been a published cartoonist since 1989. Among his best known work is the award-nominated "Urban Hipster" and "No Ordinary Flu," in collaboration with King County Public Health. His most recent work is the graphic novel, "Don't Forget This Song," the story of country music's Carter Family.

Customer Reviews

It was interesting, but boring.
Malka Rose
This book goes to great lengths to show how Yiddishkeit diffused into American culture.
E Green
Well written, well illustrated and packed with information and humor.
Evelyn Weissman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David From New York on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
What do people want from this book. The Jewish Encyclopedia it isn't. It's a radical attempt to portray the experience and milieu of Yiddishkeit in America. I could think of a thousand subjects it didn't cover, like sports. But oy, what it does cover it does so well!

Like I said, a scholarly book, this isn't; a thorough and enjoyable book this is. Don't think Talmud; think The Wise Men of Chelm as if Chelm were the USA. I can't think of a better introduction to Yiddishkeit. I think I'll take it down to Yonah Schimmel's or Katz's tomorrow evening, read it and kvell.

One more thing: politics is in here; don't be afraid. If your grandparents were in the ILGWU or your parents were old Lefties, you'll love it especially.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on February 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Perl a post-modernist? Who knew??? I drool over this on amazon.co.uk. Have a dekko (not Yiddish but Hindi). Seriously, it's worth giving it a shufty (not Yiddish bt WW2 Arabic). And there's probably a Romany word for 'look' too. But Yiddish we ALL speak without knowing it
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mae on September 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Yiddishkeit," published last week, is a mixed bag of short vignettes about Yiddish authors; one-page summaries of various historic trends (especially political activism and persecution of left-wingers); graphic-novel treatments of the lives of movie script writers, actors, and other entertainment figures; and one full-length play containing excerpts from many Yiddish theater works. And more.

The visual treatment of literary and biographical topics in "Yiddishkeit" is fun, but very truncated: for example, it offers a 3-page summary of Aaron Lansky's memoir "Outwitting History," (which I think is actually a better treatment of Yiddish in America) and a 12-page "retelling" in graphic form of the 1937 Yiddish movie "Greenfields." And more.

The introductory narratives in this book suggests that it is some type of comprehensive treatment of Yiddish culture - _Yiddishkeit_ - in America. It implies that there will be material about the exceptionality of Yiddish as a language, though I don't think that's really achieved. And while it covers a lot of other cultural material, it also misses some very big topics, and I think it misses them with a bias.

Would you be surprised if I thought it was biased against women? That it missed the presence of Yiddish-speaking Jews and Yiddish culture outside of New York and Hollywood? That it skipped over the existence of scholars of Yiddish language and culture prior to the current academic version of Yiddish studies?

Here are some of the topics that might make a more complete story of Yiddishkeit that are dismissed, glossed over, or not there at all:
* Food.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E Green on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work is obviously a labor of love. The artwork and the text are exactingly complementary. Yiddishkeit is a state of mind; a sense of being. This book goes to great lengths to show how Yiddishkeit diffused into American culture. More than a delight for the eyes or mind, this work brings back that most precious of our mental constructs, memories.
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By Malka Rose on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought it would be more about the Yiddish language and how it has infiltrated everyday society. It was interesting, but boring. I was disappointed (even though I am a BIG FAN of the late, wonderful Harvey Pekar).
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