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Meyer Levin

Born: 1905 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: July 9, 1981 in Jerusalem, Israel

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Levin was born in and lived in Chicago. He attended the University of Chicago.

Biography: Levin was an American novelist, playwright, writer, columnist, editor, reporter, war correspondent, director, actor and producer. He went to the University of Chicago, where he was a student reporter and covered the muder trial of Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold. He graduated in 1924. Already a reporter and a columnist for the Chicago Daily News, he worked there until 1925, when he went abroad for a year to study painting at the Academie Moderne in Paris and to travel. He returned to the News and in 1929 produced his first novel, ''Reporter''. His fiction carefully reflected the world he knew firsthand, such as ''The New Bridge'' (1933), ''The Old Bunch'' (1937) and ''Citizens'' (1940), all set among Russian-Jewish immigrants in Chicago. ''Citizens'' is about the 1937 steel strikes in Chicago, in which 10 strikers were killed.With the publication of ''Yehuda'' in 1931 - a novel set on a kibbutz in what was then Palestine - Levin first became known as a writer and a noted chronicler of contemporary Jewish life. In the wake of World War II and the revelation of the Holocaust, that aspect of his work deepened. Both ''My Father's House'' (1947) and ''Eva'' (1959) deal with the drama of young people who are drivent out of Poland and escaping to Palestine to reunite. ''The Search'', his autobiography, was published in 1950. From 1933 to 1939 Levin worked as an associate editor and film critic with Esquire magazine and was a reporter of the loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War. He was also a war correspondent during World War II. Other works include ''The Settlers'' (1972) and ''The Illegals'' (1977), a film telling the story of the journey of Jewish immigrants from Poland to Israel.In 1956, Levin returned to the Chicago of his youth to write ''Compulsion'', a fictional account of the Leopold-Loeb murder trial. Levin had attended college with Leopold and Loeb at the University of Chicago, before the murder of Bobby Franks. He subsequently adapted it as a play, which had a notable run on Broadway and was made into a successful film in 1959. The novel brought Levin a Special Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America in 1957.Levin's frustrated attempts to dramatize the diary of Anne Frank led him to write two novels (''The Fanatic'' in 1964 and ''The Obsession'' in 1973) that dealt with his belief that his treatment of the material was rejected because of his strong anti-Communist stance. Much of his later life was spent in Israel, which inspired the novels ''Gore and Igor'' (1968), ''The Settlers'' (1972) and its sequel ''The Harvest'' (1978). Levin's last published work was ''The Architect'' (1982), in which he revisited early-20th-century Chicago in a fictionalized treatment of the life of Frank Lloyd Wright.

  • William & Janice Epstein Fiction Award from the Jewish Book Council of America, and Harry and Ethel Daroff Fiction Award for ''The Stronghold'' Special Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America in 1957 for ''Compulsion'' Isaac Siegel Memorial Juvenile

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; History; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Children

Meyer Levin on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

ISBN: 1417987154 OCLC: 307565

Kessinger Publishing, LLC 1940

Citizens :
ISBN: 9781625670656 OCLC: 922532443

A fine American novel--one of the best I ever read. -Ernest HemingwayThe Price of ProgressFor Chicago physician, Mitch Wilner, July 4th, 1937, began as a typical holiday--a leisurely afternoon at the beach with his wife and young children. But by the end of the day, a peaceful protest erupts in violence, as unarmed steel mill strikers are attacked by the local police force, and Mitch is inadvertently thrust into the volatile heart of the Little Steel Strike.In the days and months that follow, Mitch witnesses firsthand the aggressive strike-breaking tactics implemented by the steel mill companies, the staggering brutality of the authorities, and the blatant corruption of the local government and media. But in the unionists, Mitch discovers a bond that crosses ethnic, class, and racial boundaries, and truly embodies the spirit of the American dream.Inspired by the grim events of Chicago's historic Memorial Day Massacre, Citizens takes an unflinching look at some of the darkest days in modern U.S. labor history, and the long shadow they cast on subsequent labor movement and law. Mitch's journey to understand and change the world around him will resound as clearly today as it did when Meyer Levin first published Citizens to great acclaim in 1940.Praise: One of the best American writers working in the realistic tradition. -Norman Mailer[A] long, powerful, photographic novel.-Kirkus Reviews

Compulsion :
ISBN: 9781941493021 OCLC: 906832035

Judd Steiner and Artie Straus have it all: wealth, intelligence, and the world at their feet as part of the elite, upper-crust Jewish community of 1920s Chicago. Artie is handsome, athletic, and popular, but he possesses a hidden, powerful sadistic streak and a desire to dominate. Judd is a weedy introvert, a genius who longs for a companion whom he can idolize and worship. Obsessed with Nietzsche's idea of the superhuman, both boys decide to prove that they are above the laws of man by arbitrarily picking and murdering a Jewish boy in their neighborhood.

ISBN: 9060576225 OCLC: 63995445

Omega Boek, Amsterdam : ©1984.

De oorlogs- en naoorlogservaringen van een jonge Pools-joodse vrouw, die in 1941 als 18-jarige de identiteit van een Oekraiense katholieke boerendochter aanneemt, zich vrijwillig bij de Duitsers aanmeldt voor de arbeidsdienst, maar uiteindelijk toch in Auschwitz belandt.

  Eva :
ISBN: 0874412838 OCLC: 4907782

Behrman House, New York : 1979, ©1959.

  Gore and Igor:
ISBN: 0491001010 OCLC: 102251

W.H. Allen, London, 1968.

  La obsesión.
ISBN: 8425307015 OCLC: 5258463

Ediciones Grijalbo Mexico, [©1976]

ISBN: 0553263498 OCLC: 233550071

Bantam, Doubleday, Dell, [Place of publication not identified] : 1987.

The architect /
ISBN: 0671248928 OCLC: 7731995

Simon and Schuster, New York : c1981.

The harvest /
ISBN: 0553122657 OCLC: 4995284

Bantam Books, Toronto, N.Y. : 1979, ©1978.

The old bunch
ISBN: 9781625670878 OCLC: 919498512

The Old Bunch chronicles the lives of nineteen Jewish men and women on Chicago's west, a spawling-yet-intimate portrait of American life during the Great Depression, by an author the LA Times hailed as the most significant American Jewish writer of his time. Among the various lives depicted so vividly are those of Joe Feeman, a wayward artist who loses the love of his life to a doctor whose future path is as clear as Joe's is uncertain. Sam Eisen appears to be following a stable path into law, but in actuality his contempt for the conformist lifestyles of his friends is second only to the distain he feels for the very life he has chosen. Sol Meisel starts out pursuing his dreams of becoming a professional athlete, before settling down to join his father's business. Interweaving storylines of rebellion and growing up, Levin unsentimentally generates a worldview that is striking in its pre-World War II innocence, while also clearly delineating the old world from the new.

The spell of time :
ISBN: 9781625670663 OCLC: 909378021

An extraordinary classic from the most significant American Jewish writer of the 20th century, award winning author Meyer Levin. What makes a man? When Fľicit,̌ a young French researcher, travels to Jerusalem to study alongside renowned professor Uriel Buchhalter, she doesn't expect to find the older man's heart as engaging as his mind. But their relationship is complicated when fellow scientist, Joe Schwartz-bitterly jealous of his rival's personal and professional accomplishments-also vies for Fľicit'̌s love. To plumb Fľicit'̌s true feelings, Joe and Uriel confront each other, and themselves, in a place where ancient mysticism and modern medicine collide. What they discover there will change all their lives forever... Featuring more than a dozen original black-and-white illustrations by Eli Levin, The Spell of Time is a captivating exploration of the vast spaces between science and faith, and of the tenuous bonds between body and soul.