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Marie Syrkin

Values Beyond the Self

Carole S. Kessner

Marie Syrkin’s life spanned ninety years of the twentieth century, 1899–1989. As a polemical journalist, socialist Zionist, poet, educator, literary critic, translator, and idiosyncratic feminist, she was eyewitness to and reporter on most of the major events in America, Israel, and Europe. Beautiful as well as brilliant, she had a rich personal life as lover, wife, mother, and friend. During her lifetime Syrkin’s name was widely recognized in the world of Jewish life and letters. Yet, inevitably, since her death, recognition of her name is no longer quite so immediate. Carole S. Kessner’s intention is to restore for a new generation the singular legacy of Syrkin’s life.

Paper: $35 | E-book: $30
ISBN-13: 9781684580729
Pages: 504 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: October 31, 2008
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Finally, Zionist thinker Marie Syrkin gets the recognition she deserves… It is not sentimental over praise to say that Marie Syrkin deserves a place at the roundtable of great intellects who helped shape contemporary Jewish-American liberalism.

Haaretz

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Reviews

  • While Syrkin's work is familiar to an older generation of American Zionists, Kessner's extraordinary biography should spark interest in Syrkin's life and ideas in many new quarters. . . .With Syrkin so deeply involved with so many key world events, from the Stalinist purges to the rise of Hitler, from debates over the Mandate to battles over Arab refugees, her biography reads like a history of the 20th century. But unlike most histories, delivered in the passive voice, Syrkin's is active and passionate and utterly mesmerizing. Kessner, a long time protege of Syrkin's, is a talented biographer; not only is her prose graceful and occasionally quite witty, but she understands how to insert the telling quotation, the background detail that clarifies, the right lines from the right poem.

    Jewish Book World
  • Finally, Zionist thinker Marie Syrkin gets the recognition she deserves . . . It is not sentimental over praise to say that Marie Syrkin deserves a place at the roundtable of great intellects who helped shape contemporary Jewish-American liberalism.

    Haaretz

About the Author

Carole Kessner

Carole S. Kessner is Professor Emerita, Department of Comparative Studies, SUNY Stony Brook. She is the recipient of the Marie Syrkin Fellowship for 1994, and the winner of the 2009 National Jewish Book Award for Biography. The author of many essays and articles ranging from “Milton’s Hebraic Herculean Hero” to “The Emma Lazarus-Henry James Connection: Eight Letters,” she is the editor and contributor to The “Other” New York Jewish Intellectuals (1994) and is the co-editor of and contributor …

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