Paperback / softback
April 30, 2024
9781643364698
English
288
15 b&w halftones, 2 maps
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$26.99 USD, £21.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
April 30, 2024
9781643364704
9781643364698
English
288
15 b&w halftones, 2 maps
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$26.99 USD, £21.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Liberty Street

A Savannah Family, Its Golden Boy, and the Civil War

Purchasing a historic Savannah home unlocks the sweeping story of a Southern Jewish family

As Jason K. Friedman renovated his flat in a grand 1875 town house in his hometown of Savannah, he discovered a portal to the past. Liberty Street takes the reader on Friedman's personal journey to understand the history of the family who built the home. At the center of the story is a sensitive young man pulled between love and duty, a close-knit family straining under moral and political conflicts, and a city coming into its own.

The Cohens, part of a Sephardic community in London, arrived in South Carolina (ca. 1750), seeking economic opportunity and personal freedoms. Becoming founding members of the Charleston Jewish community,they built home and community in the American South and rose from shopkeepers to success in business, politics, and high society in Savannah, one of the principal cities of the Confederacy. At the height of their success, the Cohens met tragedy, when their twenty-year-old golden boy, Gratz, was killed in battle wearing Rebel Grey, just weeks before the end of the Civil War.

Friedman draws on letters, diaries, and his experiences traveling from Georgia to Virginia to uncover these hidden histories and explore the ways place and collective memory haunt the present. At a moment when the hard light of truth shines on gauzy lost-cause myths, Liberty Street is a timely work of historical sleuthing.

About the Author

Jason K. Friedman is author of the story collection Fire Year, which won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and the Anne and Robert Cowan Writers Award. He lives in San Francisco.

Reviews

"With clarity, intelligence, precision, and a healthy dose of sultry Southern detail, Jason K. Friedman's Liberty Street: A Savannah Family, Its Golden Boy, and the Civil War brings to light a remarkable slice of American history. The story of Gratz Cohen speaks to questions we continue to grapple with today."—Aaron Hamburger, author of Hotel Cuba

"Friedman's dismantling of myths becomes a thrilling mystery, fearless reimagining, and fresh historical portrait that seems to live and breathe. Scrupulous research and shimmering prose make for a fascinating read—I could not put it down. And neither will you."—Andrew Sean Greer, 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for Less

"By blending memoir, history (through the eyes of place as character), and social commentary, in Jason K. Friedman's Liberty Street, he provides a strange and fully compelling bildungsroman, though from a distant perspective, which I've never really seen before."—Jonathan Rabb, author of several novels including Among the Living

"Ironically titled, Liberty Street explores the life and times of Jewish Confederate Gratz Cohen, a scion of two legendary families that straddled the Mason-Dixon line."—Dr. Dale Rosengarten, Founding curator of the Jewish Heritage Collection, College of Charleston

9781643364698 : liberty-street-friedman
Paperback / softback
April 30, 2024
$26.99 USD
9781643364704 : liberty-street-friedman
Electronic book text
April 30, 2024
$26.99 USD

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