The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels
Beacon Press (MA), Paperback, 9780807036273, 190pp.
Publication Date: November 15, 2006
When Hella Winston began talking with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn for her doctoral dissertation in sociology, she was surprised to be covertly introduced to Hasidim unhappy with their highly restrictive way of life and sometimes desperately struggling to escape it. "Unchosen" tells the stories of these "rebel" Hasidim, serious questioners who long for greater personal and intellectual freedom than their communities allow. In her new Preface, Winston discusses the passionate reactions the book has elicited among Hasidim and non-Hasidim alike.
Named one of "Publishers Weekly"'s Ten Best Religion Books of 2005.
Complex and heart-wrenchingly compelling. --Caroline Leavitt, Boston Globe
"Winston . . . builds fascinating case studies, inviting readers into her interviewees' conflicted, and often painful, lives . . . show[ing] us a Hasidic underworld where large families and a lack of secular education have resulted in extreme poverty and some serious at-risk behavior among youth. Her story of courage and intellectual rebellion will inspire anyone who has ever felt like a religious outcast." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Good for Hasidim, non-Hasidim and every reader who responds to one of the oldest plots on Earth-the need of some people to leave the community that raised them, and figure out the world for themselves." --Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Dives fearlessly into a fascinating topic . . . Winston channels the exhilaration of her subjects' newfound freedom, without losing all compassion for the disappointed—even angry—community they are leaving behind."--Holly Lebowitz Rossi, Dallas Morning News