The Jew of New York by Ben Katchor

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In 1825, Mordecai Noah, a New York politician and amateur playwright possessed of a utopian vision, summoned all the lost tribes of Israel to an island near Buffalo in the hope of establishing a Jewish state. His failed plan, a mere footnote in Jewish-American history, is the starting point for Ben Katchor's brilliantly imagined epic that unfolds on the streets of New York a few years later.

A disgraced kosher slaughterer, an importer of religious articles and women's hosiery, a pilgrim peddling soil from the Holy Land, a latter-day Kabbalist, a man with plans to carbonate Lake Erie--these are just some of the characters who move through Katchor's universe, their lives interwoven in a common struggle to settle into the New World even as it erupts into a financial frenzy that could as easily leave them bankrupt as carry them into the future.

About Ben Katchor

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BEN KATCHOR is the author of The Cardboard Valise, The Jew of New York; Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District; and several works of musical theater with the composer Mark Mulcahy. He teaches at Parsons The New School for Design and has contributed to The New Yorker, The Forward, and Metropolis. The first cartoonist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, he is the subject of the documentary The Pleasures of Urban Decay. He lives in New York.
Published December 7, 1998 by Pantheon. 97 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Much as he does in his acclaimed comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, Katchor uses the intricacies of urban social life to create a dense, whimsically inventive portrait-in-comics of New York City, this time at the dawn of the capitalist age.

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Entertainment Weekly

The fancifully farcical graphic novel The Jew of New York opens with a true story: politician Mordecai Noah's failed attempt to establish a Jewish colony in upstate New York in 1825.

Feb 05 1999 | Read Full Review of The Jew of New York

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