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Blows to the Head

How Boxing Changed My Mind

A provocative tale of an unlikely contender and her midlife transformation through boxing. “I peered through the Venetian blinds in our den, with its view of the playground next door, and watched mournfully as the popular girls played softball. I wanted to run fast, hit hard, and wear a cute uniform. These girls seemed to know something about life that I didn’t.” When Binnie Klein took up boxing in her mid-fifties, the reaction from friends and acquaintances was always the same: “You?” Why, after all, would a middle-aged Jewish psychotherapist with no previous history of athletics take up boxing? In Blows to the Head, Klein offers a provocative tale of an unlikely contender, her midlife transformation through boxing, and how this endeavor takes her beyond the boxing ring and leads her back to her family and her roots. With astonishing candor and wit, she reveals a series of memories and insights that would never have been possible if she hadn’t noticed a pair of boxing gloves during a physical therapy session. In a story that will captivate and inspire women and men, athletes and non-athletes, Klein shows us that if we turn over the “weird stones” we may find ourselves on an unexpected journey that will summon vitality back into our lives.

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But One Race

The Life of Robert Purvis

Born in South Carolina to a wealthy white father and mixed race mother, Robert Purvis (1810–1898) was one of the nineteenth century’s leading black abolitionists and orators. In this first biography of Purvis, Margaret Hope Bacon uses his eloquent and often fierce speeches to provide a glimpse into the life of a passionate and distinguished man, intimately involved with a wide range of major reform movements, including abolition, civil rights, Underground Railroad activism, women’s rights, Irish Home Rule, Native American rights, and prison reform. Citing his role in developing the Philadelphia Vigilant Committee, an all black organization that helped escaped slaves secure passage to the North, the New York Times described Purvis at the time of his death as the president of the Underground Railroad. Voicing his opposition to a decision by the state of Pennsylvania to disenfranchise black voters in 1838, Purvis declared “there is but one race, the human race.” But One Race is the dramatic story of one of the most important figures of his time.

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Hidden Children of France, 1940-1945, The

Stories of Survival

Interviews with eighteen Jewish “hidden children” of France and Belgium, telling the story of their survival during World War II. The history of France’s “hidden children” and of the French citizens who saved six out of seven Jewish children and three-fourths of the Jewish adult population from deportation during the Nazi occupation is little known to American readers. In The Hidden Children of France, Danielle Bailly (a hidden child herself whose family travelled all over rural France before sending her to live with strangers who could protect her) reveals the stories behind the statistics of those who were saved by the extraordinary acts of ordinary people. Eighteen former “hidden children” describe their lives before, during, and after the war, recounting their incredible journeys and expressing their deepest gratitude to those who put themselves at risk to save others.

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Old Guard, The

A brutal and unflinchingly honest portrayal of the effects of concentration camp life on the human psyche. Brutally and unflinchingly honest in its depiction of the effects of concentration camp life on the human psyche, Mieczysław Lurczyński’s The Old Guard is one of the earliest works of Holocaust literature and one of the few works written by a non-Jew who was also a survivor of the camps. Begun during his imprisonment on fragments and scraps of paper and completed immediately after the war, in 1945, the play is based on Lurczyński’s experiences in Buchenwald and its subcamp in Eschenhausen, SS-kommando Hecht. The action takes place in the Block Elder’s room at Hecht, where the prisoners who hold privileged positions in the camp—old-timers from Auschwitz, Majdanek, and other camps—play cards, drink moonshine, and steal from one another. The play’s hero, based on the pre-war Polish actor Fryderyk Jarosy, who was also interned at Hecht, attempts to uphold the values of Western civilization in this depraved environment, an impossible task that ultimately leads to his death at the hands of the Camp Elder. As Lurczysnki writes in his preface, the play contains no great atrocities: “The focus, rather, is on internal experiences and on depicting pained, sick, desparate, and resigned psyches, on depicting the methods by which people were turned into beasts, and beasts into freaks of nature.” Available for the first time in English, The Old Guard is an important and compelling work of Holocaust literature that stands on a par with the work of Tadeusz Borowski and Primo Levi.

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Truant Pastures

The Complete Poems of Harry C. Staley

Poems that ponder the conundrums of existence and religious faith in wartime.

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Where We Find Ourselves

Jewish Women around the World Write about Home

Essays, poems, and stories on the universal longing for home. 'Explores the life and career of one of the twentieth century’s most colorful Zionist leaders. The life, career, and legacy of Nahum Goldmann (1895–1982), one of the most colorful and important Zionist leaders of the twentieth century, are fully revealed in this illuminating collection of essays. American, Israeli, and European scholars speak to the many sides of Goldmann, including his upbringing, rise in the international public arena as a premier advocate for Jewish life and the Zionist enterprise, and his role as an elder statesman in the 1960s and 1970s. Often ahead of his time, Goldmann proved highly influential at several critical historical junctures—on the eve of the creation of the Jewish state, he played a key role articulating Israel’s relationship with diaspora Jewry, postwar Germany, and the Arab world. This volume captures Goldmann in all his complexity, while making this important figure and his time accessible to researchers, students, and interested readers. Mark A. Raider is Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Cincinnati and Visiting Professor of American Jewish History at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. He is the author of The Emergence of American Zionism. He is also the coeditor of Abba Hillel Silver and American Zionism (with Jonathan D. Sarna and Ron Zweig); The Plough Woman: Records of the Pioneer Women of Palestine, A Critical Edition (with Miriam B. Raider-Roth); and American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise (with Shulamit Reinharz).

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