Roads Taken: The GReaT Jewish MiGRaTions To The new woRld and The PeddleRs who FoRGed The way By Hasia R. Diner. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015. xix + 247 pp. In Roads Taken Hasia Diner rescues Jewish peddlers from historical obscurity and places them squarely in the vanguard of the mass migration that reshaped the Jewish world in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She seeks to answer a broad three-fold question: "How did the nature of the occupation of peddling . . . help shape . . . the great Jewish migration that lies at the heart of Jewish modernity, the integration of the Jews into the lands to which they went and in which they sold and then settled, and a new iteration of Jewish life?" Her answers are that peddling laid the all-important economic foundation for the migration, that it helped Jews integrate socially and culturally into their new homes, and that peddlers played a major role in modernizing Jewish culture and religious practice. Making innovative use of family and local histories, memoirs, and archival material in English, Yiddish, and Spanish, Diner expertly tells a complex transnational story that not only brings the peddlers
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Oct 7, 2015
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