Part of the Jewish Encounter series Emma Lazaruss most famous poem gave a voice to the Statue of Liberty, but her remarkable life has remained a mystery until now. She was a woman so far ahead of her time that we are still scrambling to catch up with hera feminist, a Zionist, and an internationally famous Jewish American writer before thse categories even existed. Drawing upon a cache of personal letters undiscovered until the 1980, Esther Schor brings this vital woman to life in all her complexity.
Born into a wealthy Sephardic family in 1849, Lazarus published her first volume of verse at seventeen and gained entrée into New Yorks elite literary circles. Although she once referred to her family as "outlaw" Jews, she felt a deep attachment to Jewish history and peoplehood. Her compassion for the downtrodden Jews of Eastern Europerefugees whose lives had little in common with her ownhelped redefine the meaning of America itself.
In this groundbreaking biography, Schor argues persuasively for Lazaruss place in history as a poet, an activist, and a prophet of the world we all inhabit todaya world that she helped to invent.