Mary Antin

writer, activist
Born: 6/13/1881
Birthplace: Polotsk, Russia

Antin's works often chronicled the immigrant experience in the United States. She is best known for her memoir, The Promised Land (1912), which lyrically detailed her experience as a young Russian Jew who experienced culture shock upon arriving in the United States at age 12.

Antin, her siblings, and her mother immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1894, joining her father, who had arrived in 1891. The family settled in Boston, Mass. Antin married Columbia University professor Amadeus Grabau in 1901 and moved with her husband to New York City, where she studied at Teacher's College and Barnard College at Columbia from 1901 to 1904. Her other books, including From Plotzk to Boston (1899) and They Who Knock at Our Gates (1914), also examined the lives of immigrants. Antin often spoke out against harsh immigration laws.

Died: 5/15/1949

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