The Rise of David Levinsky

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9780061319129: The Rise of David Levinsky

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1917 edition. Excerpt: ...of black dreams will come along and trip him up," I complained to Meyer Nodelman, bitterly. "A bunch of goodfor-nothings, too lazy to work, will stir up trouble, and there you are." "Oh, it won't last long," Meyer Nodelman consoled me. "Don't be excited, anyhow. Business does not always go like grease, you know. You must be ready for trouble too." He told me of his own experiences with unions and he 271 drifted into a philosophic view of the matter. "You and I want to make as much money as possible, don't we?" he said. "Well, the working-men want the same. Can you blame them? We are fighting them and they are fighting us. The world is not a wedding-feast, Levinsky. It is a big barn-yard full of chickens and they are scratching one another, and scrambling over one another. Why? Because there are little heaps of grain in the yard and each chicken wants to get as much of it as possible. So let us try our best. But why be mad at the other chickens? Scratch away, Levinsky, but what's the use being excited?" He gave a chuckle, and I could not help smiling, but at heart I was bored and wretched. The big manufacturers could afford to pay union wages, yet they were fighting tooth and nail, and I certainly could not afford to pay high wages. If I had to, I should have to get out of business. Officially mine had become a union shop, yet my men continued to work on non-union terms. They made considerably more money by working for non-union wages than they would in the places that were under stringent union supervision. They could work any number of hours in my shop, and that was what my piece-workers wanted. To toil from sunrise till long after sunset was what every tailor was accustomed to in Antomir, for instance. Only over there one received a paltry few...

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Review:

"It is one of the best fictional studies of Jewish character available in English, and at the same time an intimate and sophisticated account of American business culture."--Isaac Rosenfeld

About the Author:

Abraham Cahan (1860-1951) was a Lithuanian-born American communalist newspaper editor, politician, and novelist. His family, who was devoutly religious, moved to Wilna, New York in 1866 where the young Cahan received the usual Jewish preparatory education for the rabbinate. He, however, was attracted by secular knowledge and secretly studied the Russian language, ultimately entering the Teachers Institute of Wilna. Four years after his arrival in New York, he quickly mastered the English language and taught immigrants in an evening school. "The Rise of David Levinsky" was written in response to a request from the admired "McClure's" magazine for articles recounting the success of East European immigrants in the U.S. It aims to be a memoir written thirty years after the young David Levinsky arrived in the U.S. with four cents in his pocket. Since, he has accumulated more than two million dollars and is the owner of a leading cloak-and-suit factory, but is still not pleased. The novel is divided into fourteen books, each consisting of several chapters.

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Cahan, Abraham
Published by Harper Perennial (1976)
ISBN 10: 0061319120 ISBN 13: 9780061319129
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