Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Children of the Ghetto” as Want to Read:
Children of the Ghetto
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Children of the Ghetto

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In its first appearance in 1892, Israel Zangwill's Children of the Ghetto created a sensation in both England and America, becoming the first Anglo-Jewish bestseller and establishing Zangwill as the literary voice of Anglo-Jewry. A novel set in late nineteenth-century London, Children of the Ghetto gave an inside look into an immigrant community that was almost as mysterio ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published 1998 by Wayne State University Press (first published 1892)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Children of the Ghetto, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Children of the Ghetto

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  9 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Children of the Ghetto
Mar 26, 2013 marked it as wish-list
Page 244 Bloody Foreigners
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The edition I read of this book included both "Children of the Ghetto" and "Grandchildren of the Ghetto". The novel is primarily set in the Jewish ghetto of London's east end. Zangwill's portrayal of the ghetto is unsparing, yet empathetic. His characters are Dickensian and his development of setting reminds me of both Dickens and Betty Smith. Zangwill paints a portrait of London's Jewish ghetto of the late 1800's much as Smith did with early 20th century Brooklyn. The characters are, for the mo ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I love classic literature, and it was a wonderful change to read a Dickensian book that was filled entirely with Jewish characters. There were moments of real spark--scenes that were well written and believable. There were also many passages that were boring or contrived, or that felt caricatured and balanced out the believable characters... Overall I recommend it if you have an interest in a classic novel starring Jews that has both surprising grace and the usual dated parts.
Kat Steiner
I read this after hearing about it when the BBC proms did Fiddler on the Roof this summer. I was sort of expecting a series of disjointed vignettes of life in the Victorian London Jewish ghetto. And that's exactly what it is, for the most part. The stories are loosely linked together, there are hundreds of characters, lots of Yiddish and Hebrew that I didn't understand (there's a glossary at the back but it doesn't work well for Kindle readers), but for the most part moderately interesting.
Persephone Abbott
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This battered red bound hardcopy from 1893 fell into my lap from a thrift shop box, and I was delighted. I'd never heard of Israel Zangwill before, nor had I heard of his gentile alias "The Jewish Dickens." How could I resist such gem passages as: "He was a man of prodigious distorted mental activity. He had read omivoriously amid the vast stores of Hebrew literature, was a great authority on Cabbalah, understood astronomy, and still more astrology, was strong on finance, and could argue coheren ...more
Ben Langleben
The seminal narrative of juxtaposed lives of Jews in London's east end in the 1880s brings home the hardships of spilled soup-kitchen broth, the sorrow of elderly parents inventing rich relatives to avoid being a burden to their children, the despair of of families grieving the death of the son in whose education the meagre family wealth had been invested, and the tragi-comic implications of an accidental nuptial.
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Encyclopedic in scope, Children of the Ghetto gives an intimate look at life in the East End of London at the turn of the century. A novel of Judaica, its detail may not appeal to all. In fact, it is the historical accuracy of Jewish life that makes it so interesting--like a Dickens novel with Jews.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed what I read of it very much but found it too long to finish right now. Might go back to it at a later date.
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful depiction of the life of the Jews in the East End of London, their misery, their hopes, their pains.
Rachel Stevenson
rated it liked it
Feb 24, 2018
Andrea Engle
rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2014
rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2015
rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2012
rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2014
rated it liked it
Jun 11, 2015
Anna Elliott
rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2010
rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2019
rated it liked it
Nov 21, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2019
Colin Purkey
rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2015
Simon Benozer
rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2019
rated it liked it
Apr 20, 2011
Ted Weinberg
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2011
rated it it was ok
Apr 01, 2017
rated it did not like it
Jan 01, 2019
rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2014
Jaclyn Chernett
rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2019
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sarah Phillips
  • New People
  • Saguna: The First Autobiographical Novel in English by an Indian Woman
  • Mumbo Jumbo
  • Reuben Sachs
  • A Visit to Europe
  • The Secret Agent
  • The Children on the Hill: The Story of an Extraordinary Family
  • Erasure
  • Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
  • Fatherland
  • Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts
  • Er ist wieder da
  • In Darkest London
  • Salvage the Bones
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)
  • The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave Narrative
  • The Horrors of Slavery and Other Writings
See similar books…
Israel Zangwill was a British novelist, short-story writer and dramatist.