A Hundred Acres of America: The Geography of Jewish American Literary History (Paperback)

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2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Jewish writers have long had a sense of place in the United States, and interpretations of American geography have appeared in Jewish American literature from the colonial era forward. But troublingly, scholarship on Jewish American literary history often limits itself to an immigrant model, situating the Jewish American literary canon firmly and inescapably among the immigrant authors and early environments of the early twentieth century. In A Hundred Acres of America, Michael Hoberman combines literary history and geography to restore Jewish American writers to their roles as critical members of the American literary landscape from the 1850s to the present, and to argue that Jewish history, American literary history, and the inhabitation of American geography are, and always have been, contiguous entities.  

About the Author


MICHAEL HOBERMAN is a professor of English studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. He is the author of several books, including New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America.

Praise For…


"Michael Hoberman has opened up freshly the pathway in Jewish American writings about the sense of place, how Jewish life in America has come to be and feel at home."
— Jules Chametzky

"At once critically imaginative and rigorously methodological, A Hundred Acres of America is a genuinely exciting, pathbreaking work of breathtaking historical, geographical, and cultural scope."
— Ranen Omer-Sherman

"Hoberman brilliantly revises notions of how quintessentially American landscapes shaped American Jewish writing. Elegantly written and cogently argued, this study unsettles the stories we think we know about Jewish immigration and territorial belonging in America."
— Rachel Rubinstein

"A Hundred Acres is a worthy and lucid genealogy of the under-explored Jewish American geographical imagination, presented convincingly as an engagement with as well as departure from certain forms of dominant U.S. spatiality. Hoberman's nimble treatment of key texts captures the Jewish stamp on iconic American places, from 'the frontier' to the city and the 'suburban pastoral' as well as the Americanization of Jewish spaces elsewhere and, importantly, contributes to a shift in Jewish American literary scholarship away from the classic topics of immigration and assimilation toward a multidimensional criticism."
— Dalia Kandiyoti

"The Jewish Preview of Books—December 2018" by Rachel Scheinerman
— The Jewish Review of Books

"The book discusses a variety of places important to Americans, including the evolving West of the 19th century, the small towns of the Midwest and 20th-century suburbia. It ends with a landscape that has been significant to the Jewish people for thousands of years: Israel [and] suggests that the works it examines ask questions that aren’t easy to answer — but then asking hard questions is a sign of good literature."
— Greenfield Reporter

"Highly recommended."
— Choice

"Hoberman Reads from Book," mention in The Shelburne Falls and West County Independent
— The Shelburne Falls/West County Independent

"June 8-9, 2019: Jewish American Journeys: Michael Hoberman’s Books"
http://americanstudier.blogspot.com/2019/06/june-8-9-2019-jewish-american-journeys.html
— American Studies Blog

"Hoberman’s study...chal­lenges us to recon­sid­er what the canon of our lit­er­a­ture ought to be in a series of orig­i­nal read­ings of both obscure and major fig­ures whose vision of land­scape — above all sites of mem­o­ry and myth — shaped their vision of Amer­i­ca in rich and strik­ing ways."
— Jewish Book Council

"Carefully chosen, sensitively read, historically contextualized, and situated within the broader currents of American literature....An apt reminder that Jews’ engagement with place has always been fraught and that the places that we take for granted are always in the midst of being imagined and invented, a process that is almost never innocent."
— Marginalia

"Hoberman engages effectively with many important voices in the study of Jewish American literature today. [A] stimulating study that significantly refigures Jewish American literature."
— American Studies in Scandinavia

"The richness of Hoberman’s work is partly a feature of its extensive chronology, which includes 150 years of literary history, and partly due to his careful comparisons that are geographically, literarily, religiously and culturally diverse and bring together an uncommon range of places, authors, texts, and histories. Hoberman offers a fresh perspective on a body of literature."
— MELUS

"Short, smart, and pithy."
— Shofar

"Jews Out West 18th-century Jewish American writers described America’s vastness in lyrical—and liturgical—terms" by Michael Hoberman
— Tablet Magazine

""Heterogeneous, well-researched, and well-written."
— American Jewish History

"American Pastorals" by Michael Hoberman
— Tablet Magazine


Product Details
ISBN: 9780813589695
ISBN-10: 081358969X
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: December 6th, 2018
Pages: 198
Language: English