Outwitting History

The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books

By Aaron Lansky
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565124295, 316pp.)

Publication Date: October 2004

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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In 1980, a twenty-three-year-old student named Aaron Lansky set out to rescue the world's abandoned Yiddish books before it was too late. Twenty-five years and one and a half million books later, he's still in the midst of a great adventure. Filled with poignant and often laugh-out-loud tales from Lansky's travels across the country as he collected books from older Jewish immigrants--books their own children had no use for--"Outwitting History" also explores brilliant Yiddish writers and enables us to see how an almost-lost culture is the bridge between the Old World and the future.

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com


  1. The humorous scene that follows lunch at the Garden Cafeteria high­lights the central theme of difference and similarity developed throughout the book. How does difference yield to common cause at the physical level and the emotional level in this vignette?

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