Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area

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Mai 2003



Catskills of Sullivan was build by New Yorkers who wanted mountain air, good food, and a Jewish environment. By the 1950s, this Eden of bungalow colonies, summer camps, and over 900 hotels had attracted over a million people a year. This book recounts the life of guests, staff, resort owners, entertainers, and local residents.


Acknowledgments 1. Returning to the Catskills 2. How the Jewish Catskills Started 3. Kuchalayns and Bungalow Colonies 4. Hotel Life 5. Entertainment 6. "Mountain Rats": The More Skilled Workers and Other Veterans 7. Young Workers: Waiters, Busboys, Counselors, Bellhops, and Others 8. Guests 9. Resort Religion and Yiddishkeit 10. Decline, Present, and Future 11. What Made It So Special? Appendix: Hotels of the Catskills Notes Bibliography Index Photographs


Phil Brown is Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Brown University. He is co-founder of the Catskill Institute, and the editor of In The Catskills: A Century of the Jewish Experience in "The Mountains."


"Part memoir, part history, part sociology, Catskill Culture is basically an engagingly-written job down Memory Lane augmented by anecdotes" The Journal of American Ethnic History "With an insider's love and knowledge and a sociologist's objectivity, Phil Brown has written a book that avoids the sentimentality and condescension that have marred many of its predecessors. Interviews with former employees, owners and guests provide priceless insights into the culture of the Mountains. Brown's own voice is so warm, rich and good natured you will feel as if you are in the care of the most gracious of hosts as you experience life at the great-and not so great-Jewish resorts of the past." --Eileen Pollack, Director of Creative Writing, University of Michigan, and author of The Rabbi in the Attic and Other Stories "A powerful blend of personal memoir, sociological study, and historical ethnography, Catskill Culture recalls the life of Jewish Catskill mountain resort culture from its early years before World War II through its heyday in the postwar era and its subsequent decline in recent decades. Phil Brown's engaging and eminently readable account is shot through with nostalgic ambivalence for the world of work that produced the leisure industry known as 'the borscht belt'... An insightful exploration of the workplace culture of the Catskills resorts, the book speaks to all who have ever visited the mountains or heard stories about them as well as to students of contemporary ethnicity and culture." --Deborah Dash Moore, Professor of Religion, Vassar College, and author of To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A. "With part autobiography, part ethnography, Brown takes us back, nostalgically, to the halcyon days of this resort community. Remarkably, he depicts the area with such vivid illustrations that he brings alive the emotions, sentiments, and good will for which the Catskills were known. A labor of love...Mazel Tov, Phil!" --Contemporary Sociology "Using photographs and interviews, [Brown] takes a nostalgic look at the Borscht Belt and its decline...A pleasant read." --Library Journal "Because of his fond experience, Brown's ethnography is much warmer, more personal than most. It is a documentary of assimilation and a return to one's roots." --Publishers Weekly "One of the virtues of Phil Brown's unapologetically nostalgic memoir of growing up and working in the legendary Catskill Mountains--as busboy, cook, waiter, musician and all around 'mountain rat'--is that his particular nostalgia is profoundly earned. Indeed, he is deeply in touch with the vanished Jewish world of his parents who labored for their entire lives in the mountains. Brown offers an insider's--a native ethnographer's--account of this region and the astonishing Jewish culture it spawned." --American Jewish History "Whether you remember the summers in the Catskills, or heard nostalgic tales about this bygone era, this book is worth reading." --Lifestyles Magazine in Buffalo, NY
EAN: 9781592131891
ISBN: 1592131891
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Mai 2003
Seitenanzahl: 298 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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