My father was born into war,” begins this remarkable saga in Alisse Waterston’s intimate ethnography, a story that is also twentieth century social history. This is an anthropologist’s vivid account of her father’s journey across continents, countries, cultures, languages, generations—and wars. It is a daughter’s portrait of her father and a scholar’s reflection on the forces of history in the 20th century, the experience of exile and immigration – from Poland to Cuba to New York -- the legacies of culture, and the enduring power of memory.
Alisse Waterston is a cultural anthropologist who studies the human consequences of structural and systemic violence and inequality. She is Professor, Department of Anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Alisse is author of two ethnographies on urban poverty in the US, and is President-elect of the American Anthropological Association.