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Unfinished People

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  26 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Ruth Gay's writing traverses the paths of history from the microcosm of personal memoir to millennial histories of peoples and nations. In The Jews of Germany, she traced one and a half centuries of Jewish life in Europe. In Unfinished People, Gay describes the lives of Jewish immigrants from Eastern and Central Europe and the process through which they forged new cultural ...more
Published May 1st 1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published November 1996)
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Mar 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Both of my parents hail from NY, and they are 2nd generation American born Jews.

The descriptions of street, school, and community life for this immigrant class really opened my eyes to the world my parents lived in. Ruth grew up in the Bronx same as my father, but about 15 years before. Her analysis and characterizations ring very true to what my Dad has passed on and yet she has added much, much more in terms of background and history.

She wrote this in her 80's but
Martin Goldberg
My Grandparents immigrated to the Lower Eastside and then to the Bronx. My mother and uncle were raised there. So this shed insight into what their upbringing and experience was like. Fascinating. The author uses a strange writing style, however, that sort of rambles, which I think detracts from the overall experience. Overall, though, anyone whose ancestors immigrated to New York would very much enjoy this.
Aubrey Davis
Useful for research. For me, new information. e.g I didn't realize how many children immigrated between 1880 and World War 1 (a huge percentage of the almost three million that came), that many immigrants were not well-grounded in Jewish tradition, that a huge majority of Rabbis stayed behind in Europe.
Avi Aharon
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book makes a very pleasant read about our distant cousins - distant in both time and place - and yet so similar to my grandparents, that could actually hear and feel the story.
Ruth Gay tells a wonderful story and I will certainly read more from her books.
I have arrived to this book through searching for Anne Fields narrations. I am glad I did.
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine book if you want to know the real life experiences of the jewish immigrants in New York.
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Ruth Gay (born Ruth Slotkin) in New York in 1922, was a Jewish writer who wrote about Jewish life and won the 1997 National Jewish Book Award for nonfiction for Unfinished People: Eastern European Jews Encounter America.

Ruth Gay attended Queens College in 1943 and received a master’s in library science from Columbia University in 1969. From 1948 to 1950 she was the editor of the JDC Review of the
More about Ruth Gay...