An American in the Making, the Life Story of an Immigrant

Marcus Eli RAVAGE (1884 - 1965)

“The sweat-shop was for me the cradle of liberty. . . It was my first university.” Attending lectures and the New York theatre at night; by day sewing sleeves into shirts in a ghetto shop, Marcus Eli Ravage (1884-1965) began his transformation from “alien” to American. His 1917 autobiography is a paean to the transformative power of education. Ravage emigrated from Rumania in 1900, at the age of 16. After working for several years as a “sleever” to save money, he enrolls in the University of Missouri (the least expensive school he can find), where culture shock overwhelms him at first. “I was not sure whether it was a pig or a sheep that bleated, whether clover was a plant and plover a bird, or the other way around.” But he adapts, and eventually embraces “the bigger and freer world” outside the immigrant ghetto. He writes that, because of his university experience, he was no longer “a man without a country.” He had become an American. - Summary by Sue Anderson

Genre(s): Biography & Autobiography

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Introduction Sue Anderson
00:08:41
Play 01 The Prophet from America Sue Anderson
00:24:49
Play 02 The Gospel of New York Sue Anderson
00:24:33
Play 03 The Exodus Sue Anderson
00:13:43
Play 04 To America on Foot Sue Anderson
00:22:49
Play 05 Farewell Forever Sue Anderson
00:20:32
Play 06 First Impressions Sue Anderson
00:20:12
Play 07 The Immigrant's America Sue Anderson
00:17:30
Play 08 "How do you like America?" Sue Anderson
00:26:59
Play 09 Ventures and Adventures Sue Anderson
00:39:45
Play 10 Purifications Sue Anderson
00:26:03
Play 11 The Ethics of the Bar Sue Anderson
00:22:33
Play 12 Shirts and Philosophy Sue Anderson
00:28:32
Play 13 The Soul of the Ghetto Sue Anderson
00:18:06
Play 14 The Tragedy of Readjustment Sue Anderson
00:25:13
Play 15 The Trials of Scholarship Sue Anderson
00:27:36
Play 16 Off to College Sue Anderson
00:19:33
Play 17 In the Mold Sue Anderson
00:27:16
Play 18 The American as He Is Sue Anderson
00:28:02
Play 19 The Fruits of Solitude Sue Anderson
00:27:48
Play 20 Harvey Sue Anderson
00:29:40
Play 21 The Romance of Readjustment Sue Anderson
00:21:18