Find­ing My Father: His Cen­tu­ry-Long Jour­ney from WWI War­saw and My Quest to Follow

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

Dad­dy,” I asked my 97-year-old father, do you feel more Amer­i­can or Pol­ish?” He replied, I feel like a Jew.” Find­ing My Father is The New York Times best­selling author Deb­o­rah Tannen’s quest to piece togeth­er the puz­zle of her father’s life. Begin­ning with his aston­ish­ing­ly detailed mem­o­ries of the Hasidic com­mu­ni­ty in War­saw into which he was born in 1908, she traces his jour­ney: through his arrival in the U.S. at age twelve, quit­ting high school at age four­teen to work in New York’s Gar­ment Dis­trict, yet even­tu­al­ly estab­lish­ing the largest work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion law prac­tice in New York and run­ning for Con­gress. As Deb­o­rah comes to bet­ter under­stand her father’s — and her own — rela­tion­ship to Judaism she uncov­ers aspects of her father’s life she nev­er would’ve imag­ined. This is a mem­oir of Eli Tan­nen’s life and the ways it reflects the near cen­tu­ry that he lived. But even more, it’s about a daugh­ter’s strug­gle to see her father clear­ly, to know him more deeply and to tell a more truth­ful sto­ry about her fam­i­ly — and herself.

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