Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky
The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books

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Synopsis

In 1980, a twenty-three-year-old student named Aaron Lansky set out to rescue the world’s abandoned Yiddish books before it was too late. Twenty-five years and one and a half million books later, he’s still in the midst of a great adventure. Filled with poignant and often laugh-out-loud tales from Lansky’s travels across the country as he collected books from older Jewish immigrants—books their own children had no use for—Outwitting History also explores brilliant Yiddish writers and enables us to see how an almost-lost culture is the bridge between the Old World and the future.
 

About Aaron Lansky

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Aaron Lanksy is the founder and president of the National Yiddish Book Center (www.yiddishbookcenter.org) in Amherst, Massachusetts. The recipient of a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, Lansky has helped fuel a renaissance of Jewish literature in this country. He lives with his family in western Massachusetts.
 
Published September 2, 2005 by Algonquin Books. 340 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Outwitting History

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In prose that sometimes lurches and jolts along like the overloaded rental trucks that the author and his merry band used to collect books, Lansky unfolds a tale of rare emotion and devotion.

Oct 01 2004 | Read Full Review of Outwitting History: The Amazi...

Bookmarks Magazine

Lansky’s passionate crusade to save Yiddish literature began in 1980, when he couldn’t find a Yiddish book he needed for a graduate-school class.

Jan 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Outwitting History: The Amazi...

Grasping For The Wind

Lansky tells the story of his need for Yiddish books to read for a class in Yiddish (so uncommon a thing at the time, there were only five people in the class, and it wasn’t even accredited.) Thinking on the problem, Lansky realized that many of the people of his grandparents’ generation who owne...

Feb 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Outwitting History: The Amazi...

The Jewish Chronicle

The man, who himself regards the books as ‘trayfe,’ is seemingly keen to get rid of them yet after several years of visits by Lansky still utters the same response, ‘Come back after Yontef.’ This is a book for those who like to look at history from the bottom up.

Jan 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Outwitting History: The Amazi...

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