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The Outsider

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Fast's "New York Times" bestseller traces the lives of Rabbi David Hartman and his family through the postwar turmoil of mid-century America David Hartman returned from the Second World War to the small New England town of Leighton Ridge. Rabbi to the fourteen Jewish families in his small community, Hartman, along with his town, spends the years after the war facing the maj Fast's "New York Times" bestseller traces the lives of Rabbi David Hartman and his family through the postwar turmoil of mid-century America David Hartman returned from the Second World War to the small New England town of Leighton Ridge. Rabbi to the fourteen Jewish families in his small community, Hartman, along with his town, spends the years after the war facing the major political and social upheaval of the time. From McCarthyism and nuclear spies, to civil rights and Vietnam, Hartman, along with his best friend, a Congregational minister, helps lead the town through the chaotic changes sweeping the nation. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Howard Fast including rare photos from the author's estate.


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Fast's "New York Times" bestseller traces the lives of Rabbi David Hartman and his family through the postwar turmoil of mid-century America David Hartman returned from the Second World War to the small New England town of Leighton Ridge. Rabbi to the fourteen Jewish families in his small community, Hartman, along with his town, spends the years after the war facing the maj Fast's "New York Times" bestseller traces the lives of Rabbi David Hartman and his family through the postwar turmoil of mid-century America David Hartman returned from the Second World War to the small New England town of Leighton Ridge. Rabbi to the fourteen Jewish families in his small community, Hartman, along with his town, spends the years after the war facing the major political and social upheaval of the time. From McCarthyism and nuclear spies, to civil rights and Vietnam, Hartman, along with his best friend, a Congregational minister, helps lead the town through the chaotic changes sweeping the nation. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Howard Fast including rare photos from the author's estate.

30 review for The Outsider

  1. 4 out of 5

    George

    ILLUMINATING. INSIGHTFUL. “The human race does not improve, change, or show any evidence of a divine touch. You might say we’ve come of age in a world that’s as uninventive as it is disgusting.” (KL 2485) Twentieth century American author, Howard Fast, beat his drum of non-violence and social responsibility long, loudly and with persistence. In his illuminating novel, The Outsider he shines his spotlight on many late-twentieth century disgraces: WWII, the Holocaust, the Korean War, McCarthyism, t ILLUMINATING. INSIGHTFUL. “The human race does not improve, change, or show any evidence of a divine touch. You might say we’ve come of age in a world that’s as uninventive as it is disgusting.” (KL 2485) Twentieth century American author, Howard Fast, beat his drum of non-violence and social responsibility long, loudly and with persistence. In his illuminating novel, The Outsider he shines his spotlight on many late-twentieth century disgraces: WWII, the Holocaust, the Korean War, McCarthyism, the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the Civil Rights Movement, the War in Vietnam, et al. Through it all, he does hold humanities feet to the fire. Recommendation: This novel is an excellent recounting of the era from the mid-1940s to the early-1970s. It is a very worthy and interesting read. “We are all mad. We are a race gone mad.” (KL 4743) Open Road Media. Kindle Edition. 5,253 Kindle Locations

  2. 4 out of 5

    Roberta Sallee

    I picked up this book at the library and thought I recognized the author's name from years ago...a series of books about some inter-related families in CA starting with the great fire in SF and including grape growing. I remembered enjoying them a lot. This book centered on a rabbi with a small congregation in CT. It took me longer to read than usual. The beginning and ending were interesting, but the middle muddled down for awhile. I ended up liking it. The time period covered(1946-1960)(the copy I picked up this book at the library and thought I recognized the author's name from years ago...a series of books about some inter-related families in CA starting with the great fire in SF and including grape growing. I remembered enjoying them a lot. This book centered on a rabbi with a small congregation in CT. It took me longer to read than usual. The beginning and ending were interesting, but the middle muddled down for awhile. I ended up liking it. The time period covered(1946-1960)(the copyright is 1984) and it was intriguing seeing the author's perspective of that time's events through the main characters' eyes. It wasn't until I had to look up by author and not title (so many newer books called The Outsider!) that I noticed that Howard Fast had, indeed, written the book I was thinking of originally...The Immigrants. I think I will take it out and see if it is still as good as I remember!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I started this book long ago and struggled with it for a while. When I returned to it after a break, I found it far easier to understand. It is dated in a way, but concerns the ever relevant questions of life. Is there a God? What is faith? What is the nature of love? Why do we feel a need to separate ourselves from each other in petty distinctions? What is the meaning of life? The book seeks to ask the questions and not to answer them so much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Couldn't finish. Not like a Howard Fast book. N Boring. Couldn't finish. Not like a Howard Fast book. N Boring.

  5. 4 out of 5

    James

    I usually hate these slow, plodding, introspective novels. Maybe I'm just getting really old, but I really enjoyed this novel. Take that for what it's worth. I usually hate these slow, plodding, introspective novels. Maybe I'm just getting really old, but I really enjoyed this novel. Take that for what it's worth.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mona Lisee

    I struggled to finish this book. I found it hard to really relate to the main characters and the plot slow.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dahlgren General Library

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  8. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    Read in the 80s

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    This long, mostly well-written if sometimes rather dry novel tells of the life of Rabbi David Hartman. After serving as an army chaplain in WWII he moves with his wife to the small town of Leighton Ridge and there we follow him through the following decades, from 1948-1977. David is a good man, an honest man, who always tries to do what he considers the right and moral thing. America is changing in so many ways and all of these changes come to Leighton Ridge to some degree or another. McCarthyis This long, mostly well-written if sometimes rather dry novel tells of the life of Rabbi David Hartman. After serving as an army chaplain in WWII he moves with his wife to the small town of Leighton Ridge and there we follow him through the following decades, from 1948-1977. David is a good man, an honest man, who always tries to do what he considers the right and moral thing. America is changing in so many ways and all of these changes come to Leighton Ridge to some degree or another. McCarthyism, the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, Women’s Lib – David has to face these often cataclysmic events and come to terms with them from both a religious and human point of view. There are a lot of conversations in the novel, in which these issues are discussed, and to some extent David Hartman is there as a mouthpiece for the author's own views and preoccupations, and at times this can slow the narrative down a little, but overall I found this a moving and compelling story of one man’s odyssey through life. It’s not perhaps great literature but it is an engaging narrative which gives an authentic portrait of one man and his family, and of life both in small town America and on the wider stage. A very good read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    خواندن اثار هوارد فاست کمک می کند تا تاریخ آمریکا را به گونه ای دیگر، از درون آینه ی ادبیات بشناسیم. اگرچه نه به آن دقت و جزئیات که تاریخ یک قرن فرانسه را می شود از طریق خواندن آثار بالزاک شناخت، با این همه هوارد فاست یک آمریکایی ست که با همه ی دید انتقادی نسبت به فرهنگ و تاریخ ملتش، هم چنان دلسوز مردم و میهن خود باقی مانده است. مهاجران را باجلان فرخی ترجمه کرده و انتشارات اساطیر در 1371 منتشر کرده است. نسل دوم را به فارسی ندیده ام. با وجودی که در برابر دیگر آثار هوارد فاست آنچنان درخشش ندارد، ا خواندن اثار هوارد فاست کمک می کند تا تاریخ آمریکا را به گونه ای دیگر، از درون آینه ی ادبیات بشناسیم. اگرچه نه به آن دقت و جزئیات که تاریخ یک قرن فرانسه را می شود از طریق خواندن آثار بالزاک شناخت، با این همه هوارد فاست یک آمریکایی ست که با همه ی دید انتقادی نسبت به فرهنگ و تاریخ ملتش، هم چنان دلسوز مردم و میهن خود باقی مانده است. مهاجران را باجلان فرخی ترجمه کرده و انتشارات اساطیر در 1371 منتشر کرده است. نسل دوم را به فارسی ندیده ام. با وجودی که در برابر دیگر آثار هوارد فاست آنچنان درخشش ندارد، اما کم اثری نیست و مهر روایت های هوارد فاست را بر خود دارد، با وصف شیرینی از شخصیت ها و شرایط اجتماعی و چگونگی زندگی آمریکاییان ساده دل ... "آخرین مرز" هوارد فاست، وصف شایان ها در جامعه ی آمریکاست؛ “غائله تمام شد" اما به راستی تمام نشده. وقتی 140 سرخپوست گرفتار به اردوگاه برده می شوند، تازه پایان یک آغاز است. آغازی برای از میان بردن یک فرهنگ، قتل هزاران نفر از یک ملیت که در سراسر زمینی پر از خون و اشک، در سرزمین خود هم از حق انتخاب گور محروم اند. (ص( 246 وقتی افسر فرمانده به سه رهبر “شایان" می گوید باید به جنوب بروند، پاسخ می دهند “یک شایان دستگیر شده، یک شایان مرده است. آنها مایل نیستند به جنوب بروند و…” دلم نمی خواست به سطر بعدی بروم، نمی خواستم بدانم چه می شود. می خواستم با این “شایان"های دستگیر شده بمانم. افسر به مترجم می گوید “غلط می کنند بر نمی گردند" مترجم که خود از شایان هاست، مکث می کند، به راستی باید این جمله را ترجمه کند؟ فاست وصف می کند شایان ها چگونه ایستاده بودند. آنها دیگر “گرگ کوچک"، “چاقوی کند "و "ابر راه رونده" نیستند، تنها سه “شایان" دستگیر شده اند، سه موجود شکسته شده با پاره جل هایی بر دوششان در زمستانی که استخوان می ترکاند، در دفتر سروان که از آتش بخاری گرم است، ایستاده اند. سه سایه ی بی نام که گوشه ای از اتاق را پر کرده اند. آنها که قبیله ای داشتند، با مردمانی و سرزمینی از خود که زیر پای “پونی"هاشان تخت سلیمان بود، اینک سه جنبنده ی بی نام اند، سه از دست رفته، سه شکست خورده که همه ی حیثیت و شرافتشان بر باد رفته، و هم چنان از جانب افسران و سربازان متجاوز “وحشی ها" خوانده می شوند. شاید این وحشی ها از خود می پرسند؛ خداوندا، مرز بین تمدن و وحش کجاست؟ مرز میان گرسنه ای آواره در سرزمین خود که زیر سایه ی چتری از آخرین مدل هواپیماهای بمب افکن مبهوت ایستاده است! فاست در ابتدای کتاب از پدرش تشکر می کند که سفارش کرده؛ “آمریکای گذشته و آمریکای فعلی را دوست بدارد". شایان های معاصر، خوب می دانند چرا مراکز گرسنگی، بیماری، درد، فقر، وحشت و تروردر سرزمین آنها مستقر شده. اسلحه ها را متمدین دموکرات می سازند تا “تروریست ها" را روی منابع زیر زمینی شان خفه کنند. Reading Howard Fast helps to read American history with a reflection from the literature. No matter how critically Fast faces American society, he loves his father land, his culture and his nation, deeply and respectfully.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany S

    This book definitely put Howard Fast on my list of authors to read more of their works. It follows the life of Rabbi David Hartman, who came back from WWII definitely a changed man. He was at the liberation of one of the concentration camps (Dachau). I cannot fathom being an American Rabbi doing that. He comes home, marries, and gets his first synagogue in a small New England town Leighton Ridge. The book follows roughly the next 30 years of his life in Leighton Ridge. The adjustment from New Yor This book definitely put Howard Fast on my list of authors to read more of their works. It follows the life of Rabbi David Hartman, who came back from WWII definitely a changed man. He was at the liberation of one of the concentration camps (Dachau). I cannot fathom being an American Rabbi doing that. He comes home, marries, and gets his first synagogue in a small New England town Leighton Ridge. The book follows roughly the next 30 years of his life in Leighton Ridge. The adjustment from New York to small town is hard on his wife which becomes hard on his relationship. They form a close friendship with Congregational minister Martin Carter and his wife. The book explores the struggles of a family, antisemitism, a changing America, and one man's journey through these. I definitely recommend. I received an e-book from NetGalley for reviewing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Glen J

    Inside out and upside down Rabbi Hartman quickly becomes everyman as he embarks on his calling to shepherd a small flock in Connecticut. Salvation seems to be a work in progress for him. Wonderful read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary Frances

    I don't think I ever read a book by Howard Fast before this, and I am very impressed. I had a bit of difficulty with the main character David, whose personality seems a little unreal to me, but I grew more comfortable with him as I read on. He is, however, really a construct to convey Fast's political beliefs and his questions about racism, war, god and faith. However, one has to credit the author, who does eventually make David seem real despite the burden of channeling so much philosophy. In t I don't think I ever read a book by Howard Fast before this, and I am very impressed. I had a bit of difficulty with the main character David, whose personality seems a little unreal to me, but I grew more comfortable with him as I read on. He is, however, really a construct to convey Fast's political beliefs and his questions about racism, war, god and faith. However, one has to credit the author, who does eventually make David seem real despite the burden of channeling so much philosophy. In the end, I liked the book very much and will try other books by Fast, who was himself quite an interesting man, progressive in politics, blacklisted for flirting with socialism, author of Spartacus, which movie helped break the blacklist. I recommend the book for anyone who also has asked themselves questions about the things that really matter. In some ways, this book reminds me of that old best seller Five Smooth Stones, which also came out of the civil rights era and asked similar questions, though Fast is a better writer without doubt.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Rabbi David Hartman, fresh from witnessing the horrors of liberating Nazi death camps in World War II, has married and is looking for a synagogue; his mentor suggests a newly formed synagogue in Fairfield County, Connecticut, just outside New York City. For David, who traveled with the army as a Rabbi during the last horrific World War, Connecticut is another world, but he and his new wife accept the challenge. But he sees himself often ass an ‘outsider’ as he lives through the post World War Two Rabbi David Hartman, fresh from witnessing the horrors of liberating Nazi death camps in World War II, has married and is looking for a synagogue; his mentor suggests a newly formed synagogue in Fairfield County, Connecticut, just outside New York City. For David, who traveled with the army as a Rabbi during the last horrific World War, Connecticut is another world, but he and his new wife accept the challenge. But he sees himself often ass an ‘outsider’ as he lives through the post World War Two American history – the Rosenberg tragedy, the McCarthy era, the Korean War, the Civil Rights Movement, and Vietnam, and as he does, as all lives do, he and his relationships change. This is a remarkable novel, since it traces what so many endured and celebrated during the last half of the 20th century in America – a lasting look at a history that changed us all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    This sat on my shelf for many years. After the Immigrant I wanted more and more of Fast. I loved the Outsider as much - even more, as Rabbi David Hartman struggles with his call and his faith in many ways the same as my own struggle. I also loved the way he took us through the depression, the wars, McCarthy. I thought the relationship with Lucy, his wife was a bit strange and it did not last. I can't give it five stars because the rabbi's continuing angst grew old after a while. I would have lik This sat on my shelf for many years. After the Immigrant I wanted more and more of Fast. I loved the Outsider as much - even more, as Rabbi David Hartman struggles with his call and his faith in many ways the same as my own struggle. I also loved the way he took us through the depression, the wars, McCarthy. I thought the relationship with Lucy, his wife was a bit strange and it did not last. I can't give it five stars because the rabbi's continuing angst grew old after a while. I would have liked a few lighthearted moments. but again, Fast tells a whale of a story and tells it well. Publisher's comments.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maryetta

    I have read this book three times in my life since 1984. I find it very interesting how much I forgot about the book. I think this last read was more understandable since I'm a few years older than I was in 1984. I have read this book three times in my life since 1984. I find it very interesting how much I forgot about the book. I think this last read was more understandable since I'm a few years older than I was in 1984.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    I don't like to give a book a "don't like" rating, but I must. I had to force myself to slog through this novel, filled with wandering individuals endlessly sloshing about staring at their navels! Not very happy people. So a downer of a bood. I don't like to give a book a "don't like" rating, but I must. I had to force myself to slog through this novel, filled with wandering individuals endlessly sloshing about staring at their navels! Not very happy people. So a downer of a bood.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book was well-written and I enjoyed it, but seemed a bit pretentious for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Luke Hays

    Great Novel, I'm reading it now! Great Novel, I'm reading it now!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Harris

    Book Club Edition

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ladyjexie

    Read five of his with particular interest in the McCarthyism years

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elina

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate Gaughan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Levy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lenny

  26. 4 out of 5

    Boris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Tronkowski

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen Hedrick

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