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Mary Antin

An immigrant girl who achieved literary fame at the age of thirteen, Mary Antin became a symbol of the American dream.

Immigrant Mary Antin packs the house at the Waldorf Astoria.

December 8, 1912

Mary Antin writes, “I was born, I have lived, and I have been made over. Is it not time to write my life’s story?”

Mary Antin

Mary Antin's Promised Land

by  Gabrielle Orcha

Boston, MA-- Last night the New Center for Arts and Culture presented an evening of music and storytelling drawn from the history of Boston’s early Jewish community.

Topics: Memoirs

Review of Mary Antin's "The Promised Land" appears in the "New York Times"

April 14, 1912

Only 30 years old when she published her autobiography, The Promised Land, Mary Antin captured the dreams and experiences of turn-of-the-cent

Fiction in the United States

Literature by American Jewish women reflects historical trends in American Jewish life and indicates the changing issues facing writers who worked to position themselves as Americans, Jews, and women.

Eastern European Immigrants in the United States

Of all Jewish immigrants to the United States from 1886 to 1914, forty-four percent were women, far more than for other immigrants groups arriving during the heyday of mass immigration. The more than two million Jews from the Russian Empire, Romania, and Austria-Hungary who entered the United States in the years 1881 to 1924—when the American government imposed a restrictive quota system—came to stay. Only 7 percent chose to return to Europe, as opposed to about 30 percent of all immigrants. Jewish immigrants intended to raise American families. Ashkenazi (European) Jewish culture and American values as conveyed by social reformers as well as by advertising, and the economic realities of urban capitalist America, all influenced the position of women in immigrant Jewish society in America. Jewish immigrant women shared many of the attributes of immigrant women in general, but also displayed ethnic characteristics.

Autobiography in the United States

Accounts of the immigrant experience, of feminist and/or activist involvement, of the changing role of women in Jewish and American life, as well as literary and political autobiographies, Holocaust survival narratives, and coming-of-age memoirs are all categories of autobiography to which American Jewish women have contributed copiously.

Mary Antin

Antin celebrated the immigrant experience and the boundless opportunity of America, the land in which she, "Mashke, the granddaughter of Raphael the Russian... should be free to fashion my own life, and should dream my dreams in English phrases.”

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