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Building the Future: Jewish Immigrant Intellectuals and the Making of Tsukunft

Steven Cassedy, editor and translator
Building the Future: Jewish Immigrant Intellectuals and the Making of Tsukunft
ISBN: 978-0-8419-1372-1
1999/316 pages/LC: 9844814
Distributed for Holmes & Meier Publishers
Includes photographs

"This anthology of the Tsukunft 1892–1918 fills in a badly neglected chapter in American intellectual history—introducing the first Yiddish immigrant writers and thinkers who pioneered 'Jewish progressivism' in all its varieties, and anticipated many of the arguments of later generations of Jewish socialists, anarchists, feminists, and liberals. Here is an excellent new resource for teaching and understanding the turn of the American twentieth century as it was being shaped in New York City."—Ruth Wisse, Harvard University

"Professor Cassedy introduces his readers to the intellectual elite of Yiddish immigrant writers and thinkers whose progressive ideas and insights concerning the arts, literature, and politics found expression in the pages of the Yiddish language journal, Di Tzukunft."—Jewish Book World


First published in 1892, Di Tsukunft [The Future]—the world's oldest and longest-running Yiddish publication—was touted as a sophisticated monthly that would enlighten Jewish immigrants with its political savvy and intellectual content. Steven Cassedy has gathered and translated articles from Di Tsukunft’s inception through 1914, providing an invaluable window into Jewish progressive thought in the US at the turn of the century, and allowing us to trace the process by which this intellectual elite, with its imported Russian cultural identity, adjusted to the ever-evolving milieu of a new nation.


Steven Cassedy is professor of Slavic and comparative literature at the University of California, San Diego. His publications include To the Other Shore: The Russian Jewish Intellectuals Who Came to America and Waking Up Modern: American Consciousness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century.