Rischin paints a vivid picture of Jewish life in New York at the turn of the century. Here are the old neighborhoods and crowded tenements, the Rester Street markets, the sweatshops, the birth of Yiddish theatre in America, and the founding of important Jewish newspapers and labor movements. The book describes, too, the city's response to this great influx of immigrants—a response that marked the beginning of a new concept of social responsibility.
Mr. Rischin tells the turbulent story of the tenements with simple honesty and with an affection untouched by defensiveness or sentimentality… Years of painstaking research make this book an indispensable synthesis of a great experience.
Books like Moses Rischin’s are noteworthy above all for their rarity… By contrast with so many facile and vague findings in ‘social science,’ Mr. Rischin’s book stands out by reason of its sobriety and its valuable factuality.
An authoritative, richly researched, and admirably balanced study of immigrant Jewish New York. It is a pioneering and indispensable book, which should be read by anyone interested in this subject.