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An Orphan in History

One Man’s Triumphant Search for His Jewish Roots

Paul Cowan with an afterword by Rachel Cowan

6 x 9, 288 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-135-0

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Sometimes we must look into the past in order to face the future.
After growing up as a fully assimilated Jew, Paul Cowan embarked in his mid-thirties upon a journey to discover and appreciate his true identity and heritage. This “orphan in history” relates his search for these roots, detailing the path he took from his Park Avenue home to nineteenth-century Lithuania to a contemporary Israeli kibbutz, leading to remarkable personal discoveries that will move everyone who has yearned to know more about their past.
An Orphan in History is a classically beautiful, inspiring story of how one man evolved from describing himself as “an American Jew” to “an American and a Jew.”
This story will inspire you to journey in search of your true self.
“A deeply moving and very well-written account of a personal twentieth-century odyssey.”
Chaim Potok
“More than the story of a life; it is the story of an experience…. At a time when many are seeking answers in all sorts of paths—religious, mystical and political—Paul Cowan managed to find them, and himself, in his own history.”
Richard F. Shepard, New York Times
“Beautiful and moving…. An Orphan in History will interest hyphenated Americans of every variety.”
Charles Silberman, New York Times Book Review
“The rest of us have caught up with Cowan. More than ever we need his provocative story of the tension between the desire to be an American and the compulsion to be a Jew.”
Lee Meyerhoff Hendler, author of The Year Mom Got Religion:
One Woman’s Midlife Journey into Judaism
“Searching outward and looking inward at the same time, Cowan has produced a work of remarkable honesty and clarity.”
Jewish Book World
“It has added to the literature of religious and ethnic renewal in a highly personal and moving way.”
Los Angeles Times
Paul Cowan was an inspiring author of several books, including The Tribes of America, The Making of an Un-American, and, with his wife, Rachel Cowan, Mixed Blessings. He died in 1988 of complications from leukemia. Rachel Cowan wrote the Afterword for the paperback edition of An Orphan in History (originally published by Doubleday).


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978-1-58023-838-0 Best Boy in the United States of America
978-1-58023-052-0 Who Is A Jew?: Conversations
978-1-58023-259-3 I Am Jewish (PB)
978-1-58023-115-2 One God Clapping: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi
978-1-58023-070-4 Year Mom Got Religion: One Woman's Midlife Journey into Judaism
978-1-58023-272-2 Soul of the Story: Meetings with Remarkable People


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