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Dough: A Memoir
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Dough: A Memoir

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  192 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Mort Zachter’s childhood revolved around a small shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side known in the neighborhood as “the day-old bread store.” It was a bakery where nothing was baked, owned by his two eccentric uncles who referred to their goods as “the merchandise.” Zachter grew up sleeping in the dinette of a leaking Brooklyn tenement. He lived a classic immigrant story--o ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by University of Georgia Press
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Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Review of DOUGH by Mort Zachter

To all of us who hold dear family stories of our ancestors making their way to America where the “streets were paved with gold”, readers will appreciate this charming and relatable memoir by Mort Zachter. Mort’s Jewish immigrant grandparents, Max and Lena Wolk, came and opened a bakery in New York’s Lower East Side in 1926. Their bachelor sons, Harry and Joe, came to work in the bakery even before their parents died, and it became their whole life. Their daughte
Aug 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Dough' is the memoir of Mort Zachter, a former accountant and lawyer who wakes up one day to find himself a millionaire. His bachelor uncles, Harry and Joe, who spent most of their lives behind the counter of their family-run bakery in Manhattan's Lower East Side, quietly amassed a fortune that was kept secret from him. After one uncle dies and the other succumbs to dementia, he learns that he is heir to over six million dollars.

Like a natural-born memoirist, Zachter devotes several pages to hi
I really did enjoy this book. I like the books message and language used by the author. It is like he is talking to you. I personally do not like fancy language. I prefer saying something clearly. I think when author's use tons of poetic lyrical fancy talk it puts me off. It is like they are trying to impress someone. Who is looking. I much prefer straight talk which often draws you in and pulls you close to the emotions of the character speaking.

and the message. Enjoy life, not at the expense
K2 -----
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think your reaction to this book depends on what expectations you bring to it more than most.

It is a great memoir of a Jewish man's family who ran a day old bakery for many years, and who discovers upon his father's illness the big family secret they all kept from him the only child of a mother who worked along side her brothers in the bakery but was never paid. This book is a first book by a man who had quite a story to tell. It could be argued it should have been a shorter piece but those wh
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
There are many stories about NYC's lower east side immigrant experience, but this memoir is special because it is honest, simple, and personal. It succeeds as a great example of "write-what-you-know" storytelling, and has requsite elements of hope and redemption: if you work hard, and do the right thing, good things will happen. And while it is very much a Jewish story, it easily generalizes to all families who have developed quirky rules for managing life's challenges. Ultimately, it works beca ...more
Nov 17, 2009 rated it liked it
A patron called in the other day trying to find this book and, upon seeing the summary, I became intrigued and picked it up a few days later for myself. The author, a CPA and lawyer, suddenly, and shockingly, inherits millions of dollars from his bachelor uncles. He had no idea that his family had any money at all, and he struggles to reconcile his newfound wealth with his impoverished upbringing. Not only does the inheritance give him an interesting story to tell, it also supports him while he ...more
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a real fast read. So here's a man, living in New York, whose family (mostly two of his uncles) ran a bread store (they didn't bake the bread, they just distributed bread and cakes, etc.). His mother worked there, basically for nothing, because it was family. He went to college and law school on scholarships because they were not very well off. Then, while he is in law school (after working), as the last uncle, who has Alzheimer's, is being cared for by his parents at home; he finds out t ...more
Ruth B
Jun 02, 2008 rated it liked it
i gave it a three because of the corniness. the author wants to be all things to all people.
he wants us to laugh and he tries too hard like someone re-telling a plot of a simpsons episode. a smile maybe. he isn't good enough to make me feel like a fly on the wall of this fantastic situation. his family has been scraping by for generations, living in tenements-a word he uses like salt- while his two bachelor uncles have amassed a multi-million dollar fortune from a bakery business. he is bitter
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a slim book--173 pages in my copy--which I though our book group was reading along with The Education of Little Tree, which isn't really long, either. I would have to say that I actually liked it better, because animals weren't getting injured and dying as they were in the other book. This is called a memoir, and apparently Mort Zachter and Mark Twain both have the same idea about autobiography. You start somewhere, write about that time in your life, and then switch around. This is not ...more
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it
The title in this humorous memoir refers to bread as well as the slang for money. When the author's Uncle Harry dies, the last of two Jewish bachelor uncles who ran a Brooklyn bakery for 70 years, he discovered they weren't as poor as he once thought. In fact, they were worth about $6 million. The nicely-written piece is split between the author's growing-up years in a modest apartment to present-day,
after he becomes a CPA/lawyer, starts his own family and is called on to become a parent to his
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