Outwitting History

Outwitting History

The Amazing Adventures of A Man Who Rescued A Million Yiddish Books

Book - 2004
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"Incredible . . . Inspiring . . . Important." -- Library Journal, starred review

"A marvelous yarn, loaded with near-calamitous adventures and characters as memorable as Singer creations." -- The New York Post

"What began as a quixotic journey was also a picaresque romp, a detective story, a profound history lesson, and a poignant evocation of a bygone world." -- The Boston Globe

"Every now and again a book with near-universal appeal comes along: Outwitting History is just such a book." -- The Sunday Oregonian

As a twenty-three-year-old graduate student, Aaron Lansky set out to save the world's abandoned Yiddish books before it was too late. Today, more than a million books later, he has accomplished what has been called "the greatest cultural rescue effort in Jewish history." In Outwitting History, Lansky shares his adventures as well as the poignant and often laugh-out-loud stories he heard as he traveled the country collecting books. Introducing us to a dazzling array of writers, he shows us how an almost-lost culture is the bridge between the old world and the future--and how the written word can unite everyone who believes in the power of great literature.

A Library Journal Best Book
A Massachusetts Book Award Winner in Nonfiction
An ALA Notable Book
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781565124295
1565124294
Characteristics: x, 316 p. ; 24 cm

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mammothhawk229e
Mar 21, 2017

Loved this offbeat book on misfit student finding a calling & making friends to unlikely older people.
A lowbrow hybrid language that borrowed words from other languages that got killed by Second War, users getting old, young learning English & nationalist snobby Israel's formerly rabbi only Hebrew as official language edict.
Dumpster diving official job description in author's resume?
Story went full circle as people in Eastern Europe post-Cold war need help rediscovering their roots.
A real grind translating old Yiddish novels to English with limited resources.

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