Thursday, 2 July 2020

Meyer Levin

Clicking the series name or book title will take you to information about that series or title.

Frankie & Johnnie
The Old Bunch
The Spell of Time
The Settlers
The Harvest

Autobiographical Works
In Search
The Obsession


Frankie and Johnie by Meyer Levin

Johnnie didn’t plan on falling for Frankie—she was too young, too naïve, and his best friend’s sister to boot. But the moment he saw her, Johnnie knew Frankie was the only girl for him. Frankie used to think all boys were the same, wild and reckless. But sweet, sincere Johnnie is proving himself to be different. As they spend more time together, their feelings grow deeper—is this real love or just a youthful fling?

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The Old Bunch by Meyer Levin

The Old Bunch chronicles the lives of nineteen Jewish men and women on Chicago’s west side, a spawling-yet-intimate portrait of American life during the Great Depression, by an author the LA Times hailed as “the most significant American Jewish writer of his time.” Interweaving storylines of rebellion and growing up, Levin unsentimentally generates a worldview that is striking in its pre-World War II innocence, while also clearly delineating the old world from the new.

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Citizens by Meyer Levin

For Chicago physician, Mitch Wilner, July 4th, 1937, began as a typical holiday—a leisurely afternoon at the beach with his wife and young children. But by the end of the day, a peaceful protest erupts in violence, as unarmed steel mill strikers are attacked by the local police force, and Mitch is inadvertently thrust into the volatile heart of the Little Steel Strike. In the days and months that follow, Mitch witnesses firsthand the aggressive strike-breaking tactics implemented by the steel mill companies, the staggering brutality of the authorities, and the blatant corruption of the local government and media. But in the unionists, Mitch discovers a bond that crosses ethnic, class, and racial boundaries, and truly embodies the spirit of the American dream.

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with original illustrations by Eli Levin

When Félicité, a young French researcher, travels to Jerusalem to study alongside renowned professor Uriel Buchhalter, she doesn’t expect to find the older man’s heart as engaging as his mind. But their relationship is complicated when fellow scientist, Joe Schwartz—bitterly jealous of his rival’s personal and professional accomplishments—also vies for Félicité’s love. To plumb Félicité’s true feelings, Joe and Uriel confront each other, and themselves, in a place where ancient mysticism and modern medicine collide. What they discover there will change all their lives forever…

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The Settlers by Meyer Levin
At the turn of the twentieth century, Feigel and Yankel Chaimovitch are among the many Russian Jews caught up in the nascent revolution. Worried that their two oldest children, Reuven and Leah, could be rounded up into a pogrom, Feigel and Yankel allow them to scout out if their ancient homeland, Eretz Yisroel, is the refuge they’re searching for. Buoyed by the good reports, the Chaimovitch family flees Russia to begin anew. Yet not everything is as easy as Leah’s reports had made it sound. The pioneers face innumerable hardships: poverty, disease, grueling physical labor, and tensions with their Arab neighbors that often erupt into violence. As World War I escalates, each family member struggles to build a life and a future.
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The Harvest by Meyer Levin
When the Chaimovitch family fled the Russian pogroms at the turn of the twentieth century, they did so hoping their family could flourish in the land of their ancestors. Twenty years later, those dreams culminate when they send their youngest son and only Palestinian-born child, Mati, off to attend an American college. But the difficulties of their old lives in Russian are harder to shake than they thought. The rumblings of World War II have begun. Anti-Jewish violence reminiscent of the pogroms they fled erupts, claiming the life of their second-oldest son, Gidon. Mati returns home, bringing with him his new American Jewish bride Dena, to help his family deal with the sudden tragedy. Bridging the generations, and the old and new worlds, the Chaimovitch family will confront together the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, ultimately leading to the triumphs and trials surrounding the creation of the Jewish state of Israel.
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Autobiographical Works
In Search by Meyer Levin

Raised in the notorious Bloody Nineteenth Ward in Chicago, Levin landed a job at the Chicago Daily News at eighteen. Reporting was to be the means to support his real writing. Yet it was as a war correspondent that Levin found his voice. One of the first Americans to enter the concentration camps during World War II and record the horrors there, Levin also helped smuggle Jews from Poland to Palestine, capturing the events in his now classic film “The Illegals.” In Search is equally the story of Levin’s quest to define his Jewishness to himself and to the world.

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The Obsession by Meyer Levin

In 1951, Meyer Levin’s wife gave him a copy of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, which had just been published in France. The Obsession is a candid account of his struggle to bring his version of Anne Frank’s diary to Broadway. Levin’s adaptation, begun with the support of Anne’s father, Otto, was eventually deemed ‘unstageworthy,’ and he was supplanted by non-Jewish writers. To Levin, it was a clear case of sanitizing Anne’s story in favor of mass appeal. He battled for his version in courtrooms and out, but the fallout nearly destroyed both his family and his career.

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