Between 1848 and 1914, approximately 100,000 Jews emigrated from Hungary to the United States. They came in two waves. The first group, catalyzed by the 1848 revolutions against the Austrian monarchy, consisted mainly of political dissidents and well-educated, cosmopolitan, middle-class Jews seeking greater personal, religious, and political freedoms in the New World. The second and much larger group, which began to arrive around 1880, consisted primarily of poor peasants and unskilled labourers, beckoned to America by the promise of vast economic opportunity. In the abundant literature on Jewish immigration to the United States, virtually nothing has been written specifically about the Hungarian-Jewish experience, which differed in many respects from that of other Jewish national groups. "Bridging Three Worlds" offers such a chronicle, relating the immigrants' history from their political and cultural roots in the Old Country to their acculturation as citizens in a newly adopted land. Based on primary archival material, oral histories, and secondary sources, the book is also informed by the author's own experiences as an American of Hungarian-Jewish origins.
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press