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The Angel Max cover
  • ISBN: 9780151002207
  • ISBN10: 0151002207

The Angel Max

by Glassgold, Peter A

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Publish date: 05/01/1998
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Description
As a young child in polyglot Kovno, Max Petrovich Kraft had a clear vision of his own future and the wonderful adventures he was going to have in America. America! where everyone spoke English, so that "no matter what anybody says or how anybody says it, everybody understands."

Who is this Angel Max? Born in 1866, he is an orphan, raised by rich relatives, educated and enlightened Jews. As a boy, he becomes obsessed with English and James Fenimore Cooper while his siblings get caught up in the anarchist/nihilist underground.

He comes to America, to New York, and stays with relatives, not on the Lower East Side but in a townhouse on West 11th Street, just off Fifth Avenue. A sound marriage and equally sound business ventures, in real estate, make the American dream immediately come true -- city and country homes, servants, carriages -- and, above all, speaking English at all times.

But there is the other side of the family -- revolutionary stepsisters, a crazed, violent half brother, an anarchist cousin -- none other than "Red Emma" Goldman herself. They are in and out of his life, and Max becomes an "angel" for the anarchist cause, a little out of sympathy but more to keep them at a distance. This ambiguity is splendidly rendered in a richly inventive novel filled with memories of a time past, of lives lived and imagined in all seriousness and with empathy and humor.

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