Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rats Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area

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Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. I found this to be a wonderful bit of history of New York that most people would never know about. This definately was a book of nostalgia for the author yet he managed to not make it too biased and balanced out various perspectives. It makes me think about my own childhood, though it was not too long ago, and place more significance in the memories.

Through this book he managed to display several changes of generations and display priorities of each. It was a lot of information and even more so I found this to be a wonderful bit of history of New York that most people would never know about. It was a lot of information and even more soul. Jun 18, K. Katzmann rated it liked it Recommends it for: New York descended Jews, historical researchers.

If I'm going to murder a half dozen people somewhere, I better understand that place. So, given that I'm working on an upcoming book set in a bungalow colony, I picked this one up. The Jewish Catskills were an interesting phenomena where New York Jews settled the mountains and filled them with summer resorts. The author did a lot of work in his younger years in the area, so he's got a feel for the h Rule 1: The author did a lot of work in his younger years in the area, so he's got a feel for the history, culture, and atmosphere.

It wasn't entirely what I needed, but I don't fault Brown for that. His youth was spent in the hotels, and detail on them peppered with funny anecdotes make up the majority of the book. One chapter focused on the bungalow colonies, weird little clusters of cabins rented for months on end. Still, I got what I needed.

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I admit, this is a pretty niche slice of history, but if you need a book on it, this one was funny and extremely well-researched. I'm going to try "Borscht Belt Bungalows" next; it seems to have some more of the seedy side of things. Then I'm going to sit down at the word processor and kill about a half-dozen teenagers in the woods over a knish. Feb 14, Susan Grodsky rated it liked it. I began reading this book by pure chance. I was in the library, rushing to pick up my holds from the designated shelf, when I noticed this title, abandoned on a table. Intrigued, I picked it up and took it home, without even looking inside.

Yes, people certainly do judge a book by its cover. So maybe I can't complain that this wasn't the book I hoped it to be. It's a memoir and not the socio-historical study I wanted. Although Brown doesn't present the story in a well organized and chronological I began reading this book by pure chance. Although Brown doesn't present the story in a well organized and chronological way, I was able to perceive that outlines of borscht belt history.

Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area

It seems that the first Jewish residents of Sullivan and Ulster Counties were farmers operating dairy and egg farms. During the summers, the farmers took in boarders, renting out a spare room or so. These boarders evolved into "kuchalyns" -- "cook alones". Boarders cooked for themselves, no doubt using produce from the farm. Then came the bungalow colonies and, more or less synchronously, the hotels.

I remember visiting a cousin at her family's bungalow in "the Laurentians" north of Montreal. So now we are in the s or so, the golden age of the borscht belt. Here is where Brown's sociological analysis skills should come to the fore, telling us who came to which places, for how long, what they ate, what they discussed, how much they paid. What music they played. Who did stand up comedy, what the jokes were about, and why those topics jelled with the audiences.

Instead we get many times: Woodstock, that cultural event that occurred in the heart of the borscht belt, gets half a sentence. Phil Brown seems like a fun guy to have coffee with, though you'd have to listen a lot and not try to steer the conversation. He just didn't write the book I wanted. Mar 12, Andrew Horton rated it really liked it.

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Faculty Profile: Phil Brown and the Jewish Catskills

This is the warm and fun side of the Jewish Catskill experience, the actual history and circumstance behind the Borscht Belt, Dirty Dancing , Sweet Lorraine , and so on. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.


  1. Moses Mendelssohn.
  2. The Catskills Institute.
  3. Faculty Profile: Phil Brown and the Jewish Catskills - Jewish Studies Program.

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Catskill Culture by Phil Brown. Catskills of Sullivan was build by New Yorkers who wanted mountain air, good food, and a Jewish environment. By the s, this Eden of bungalow colonies, summer camps, and over hotels had attracted over a million people a year.

Catskill Culture: A Mountain Rat's Memories of the Great Jewish Resort Area by Phil Brown

This book recounts the life of guests, staff, resort owners, entertainers, and local residents. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Catskill Culture , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. I found this to be a wonderful bit of history of New York that most people would never know about.

This definately was a book of nostalgia for the author yet he managed to not make it too biased and balanced out various perspectives. It makes me think about my own childhood, though it was not too long ago, and place more significance in the memories. Through this book he managed to display several changes of generations and display priorities of each.

It was a lot of information and even more so I found this to be a wonderful bit of history of New York that most people would never know about. It was a lot of information and even more soul. Jun 18, K. Katzmann rated it liked it Recommends it for: New York descended Jews, historical researchers. If I'm going to murder a half dozen people somewhere, I better understand that place. So, given that I'm working on an upcoming book set in a bungalow colony, I picked this one up.

The Jewish Catskills were an interesting phenomena where New York Jews settled the mountains and filled them with summer resorts. The author did a lot of work in his younger years in the area, so he's got a feel for the h Rule 1: The author did a lot of work in his younger years in the area, so he's got a feel for the history, culture, and atmosphere. It wasn't entirely what I needed, but I don't fault Brown for that. His youth was spent in the hotels, and detail on them peppered with funny anecdotes make up the majority of the book.

One chapter focused on the bungalow colonies, weird little clusters of cabins rented for months on end.

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Still, I got what I needed. I admit, this is a pretty niche slice of history, but if you need a book on it, this one was funny and extremely well-researched. I'm going to try "Borscht Belt Bungalows" next; it seems to have some more of the seedy side of things. Then I'm going to sit down at the word processor and kill about a half-dozen teenagers in the woods over a knish.

Feb 14, Susan Grodsky rated it liked it. I began reading this book by pure chance. I was in the library, rushing to pick up my holds from the designated shelf, when I noticed this title, abandoned on a table. Intrigued, I picked it up and took it home, without even looking inside. Yes, people certainly do judge a book by its cover. So maybe I can't complain that this wasn't the book I hoped it to be. It's a memoir and not the socio-historical study I wanted.

Although Brown doesn't present the story in a well organized and chronological I began reading this book by pure chance.

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Although Brown doesn't present the story in a well organized and chronological way, I was able to perceive that outlines of borscht belt history. It seems that the first Jewish residents of Sullivan and Ulster Counties were farmers operating dairy and egg farms. During the summers, the farmers took in boarders, renting out a spare room or so. These boarders evolved into "kuchalyns" -- "cook alones". Boarders cooked for themselves, no doubt using produce from the farm.