Skip to main content

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Marie Syrkin

Values Beyond the Self

A compelling biography of an important eyewitness to the twentieth century.

Marie Syrkin’s life spanned ninety years of the twentieth century, 1899–1989. As a polemical journalist, socialist Zionist, poet, educator, literary critic, translator, and idiosyncratic feminist, she was an eyewitness to and reporter on most of the major events in America, Israel, and Europe. Beautiful as well as brilliant, she had a rich personal life as a lover, wife, mother, and friend. During her lifetime Syrkin’s name was widely recognized in the world of Jewish life and letters. Yet, since Syrkin’s death, recognition of her name is no longer quite so immediate. Carole S. Kessner’s biography restores Syrkin’s fascinating life and legacy for a new generation.

Brandeis University Press image

View all books from Brandeis University Press


“Finally, Zionist thinker Marie Syrkin gets the recognition she deserves. . . . It is not sentimental overpraise to say that Marie Syrkin deserves a place at the roundtable of great intellects who helped shape contemporary Jewish-American liberalism.”


Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Marie’s Birthright
Chapter 2. A Bronx Adolescence
Chapter 3. That Fabulous Summer: Maurice
Chapter 4. Elopement and Annulment
Chapter 5. Marriage, Motherhood, and Tragedy
Chapter 6. David, Divorce, and the Death of Nachman
Chapter 7. A New Life: Charles

Chapter 8. An Unorthodox Marriage: Palestine and Hollywood
Chapter 9. At the Nexus of the “Jewish Problem”
Chapter 10. On the Jewish Frontier: The Twenty-First Zionist Congress
Chapter 11. The War, the White Paper, and the Rescue of the Jews
Chapter 12. Wartime Horrors: Personal Unhappiness
Chapter 13. Postwar Projects: DP Camps, Blessed is the Match, Israel
Chapter 14. Academia at Last: The Brandeis Years


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press