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My Mother's Wars


My Mother's Wars Cover

ISBN13: 9780807050521
ISBN10: 0807050520
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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An acclaimed writer on her mother’s tumultuous life as a Jewish immigrant in 1930s New York and her life-long guilt when the Holocaust claims the family she left behind in Latvia


Like so many Eastern European Jewish immigrants of the time, Mary Lifton left her family in Latvia in pursuit of a better life in New York.  She found work in the garment district, alongside many others from the Jewish diaspora, struggling to survive in nonunion shops, even becoming a small part of the labor union movement.  Alone and subsisting on minimal wages, Mary was  swept up by love in a steamy romance with a man who would force her into two back-room abortions and finally father Lillian Faderman, before disappearing from her life. But worse than his romantic betrayals, Moishe kept Mary from doing what she most needed to do: find a way to get her family out of Latvia before Hitler’s Holocaust engulfed and destroyed them. In this carefully crafted and well-documented work of reconstructed memoir, Faderman offers an extraordinary lens onto the anguish of the Jewish Holocaust survivors on our shores.



About the Author

Lillian Faderman is an internationally known scholar of lesbian history and literature, as well as of ethnic and immigrant history. She is the author of such acclaimed works as To Believe in Woman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Surpassing the Love of Men, I Begin My Life All Over, and her memoir Naked in the Promised Land.

Table of Contents


Part I

Chapter 1:   First week of April, 1932

Chapter 2:   The rest of 1932

Chapter 3:   Winter and spring, 1933

Chapter 4:   Later in 1933

Chapter 5:   Spring and summer, 1934

Chapter 6:   Fall and early winter, 1934

Chapter 7:   Winter to late summer, 1935

Chapter 8:   Fall, 1935

Part II

Chapter 9:   Spring and summer, 1936

Chapter 10: Late 1936

Chapter 11: Winter and spring, 1937

Chapter 12: Summer and fall, 1937

Chapter 13: Winter and spring, 1938

Chapter 14: Summer, 1938

Chapter 15: Fall, 1938

Chapter 16: Winter and spring, 1939

Chapter 17: Summer 1939

Chapter 18: Late summer and fall, 1939

Chapter 19: 1940



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dutchessabroad, May 10, 2013 (view all comments by dutchessabroad)
With "My Mother's Wars" the author tells a much broader story than just that of her mother's life in America as a first generation immigrant from Latvia. Her mother's first hand experience with the deplorable work situation in the textile industry (extra interesting in the light of the recent tragedy in the sweatshops in Bangladesh) and the way she got involved with the workers union is a compelling read. In an earlier memoir by the same author we're introduced to her mother as being a kind of nutty at times. In this book we find out what it is that drove her crazy. We read about the mother's romance with an impossible lover, and the the different kind of heartaches suffered by the working poor Jewish immigrants �"unable to bring their relatives over from Europe before WWII and during the Holocaust.
Each chapter starts off with "Time on the March", snippets taken from 1930s and '40s news reels, followed by the author's mother's story.
I've never before read anything that describes the heartache of American Jews during WWII as well.
Faderman also shares some startling facts I wasn't aware of before, for instance about the number of Nazi training camps in the U.S. An important book, and a great read to boot.
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Product Details

Faderman, Lillian
Beacon Press (MA)
Publication Date:
9.29 x 6.22 x 1.04 in 1.2 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust
Religion » Judaism » Jewish History
Religion » Judaism » Jews in America

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