Page 36 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
30
BIOGRAPHICAL AND AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WORKS
This year has been rich in the output of books, biographical
and autobiographical, in which accounts are given of the lives and
achievements of Jews who have gained prominence, in one way
or another, in the development of American public service, trade
and commerce, and in the professions and in the arts.
The auto-
biography of Sol Bloom
(N. Y., Putnam’s, 1948), unfolds the life-
story of the late New York Representative in Congress who, for
quite some years, especially throughout the period of World War
II, served as Chairman of the House of Representatives Com-
mittee on Foreign Affairs. His reminiscences of San Francisco
and New York and his views of world affairs and on matters
Jewish are stated with clarity and frankness.
In
Liberal's progress
:
Edward A. Filene
, shopkeeper to social
statesmen (N. Y., Coward, McCann, 1948), Gerald W. Johnson
tells the story of one who was famous for nearly half a century
in Boston for being a chronic innovator in the merchandizing
business. He spoke of himself as an “unsuccessful millionaire”
yet he was able to provide endowments for the Twentieth Century
Fund’s researches into functional economy and for the Edward
A. Filene Good Will Fund, the more-or-less fact-finding arm of
the consumers’ cooperative movement. The book represents a
remarkable study of an altruistically civic-minded American Jew
whose social mindedness prompted his devotion to the effort to
improve the lot of the poor and to the creation of cooperative
ventures in all spheres of economic endeavor.
The role of the Guggenheim family in the advancement of
American cultural and philanthropic endeavor is known far and
wide. Not so their role in industry. In
Metal magic
, the story of
the American Smelting and Refining Company by Isaac Frederick
Marcosson (N. Y., Farrar, Straus, 1949), one meets with a history
of the operations of a metal industry in which the Guggenheims,
among other financial figures, rose to power.
Julius Rosenwald played an extraordinary role in American
philanthropy. He was a modest man whose generosity knew no
bounds of creed or color. He stipulated that the principal and
the income of the sixty or seventy million dollars which he has
given away be spent within a single generation and that each
generation produce the necessary means for its philanthropic needs.
The exciting story of the sustained effort to improve education,
health and race relations through the expenditures of the Julius
Rosenwald Fund is told in
Investment in peoplei
by Edwin Rogers
Embree and Julia Waxman (N. Y., Harper’s, 1949). Beginning
with a brief sketch of Julius Rosenwald’s life, it closes with several