Out of the Shadow
Rose Cohen’s book, Out of the Shadow, is the story of a Russian, Jewish immigrant and her
family after coming to the United States. She tells of how her family had to deal with hard work,
racism and the difficulties of learning to blend into the American culture. She tells of how she
and other immigrants didn’t see the great wealth, prosperity, and equality that was talked about. I
think in the end Rose and her family found some version of the American dream, although it
wasn’t exactly what they had hoped for. Rose paints a picture by describing her experiences in
the garment shops and testifies to the labor and the progressive labor movement that occurred.
She also tells of her compromise of her religious and cultural beliefs. Rose gives us a realistic
view of this time period so that we can try to understand the history that surrounds the 1800’s
Rose and her aunt after arriving in America found out exactly how hard their life would be by
having to work in the garment shops. I feel that her father thought by bringing Rose and his sister
to America first that they would be able to find steady work because they were women. This is
due to the fact that women were paid less than men. Rose suffered from illness the entire time
that she was working. This is seen by her having to stay home because she is sick and by her
having to go to the hospital.
Rose and her family learned what racism and discrimination was all about. Rose’s father had
to cut his hair and shave his beard, in order to look more American. He did this in order to keep
from being beat up every time he walked down Cherry Street. The family as a whole, once
together again, became lees observant Jews as time went on. Rose actually thought more about
the Christian faith and what it would do to her family if she converted. In her book she writes
about how her brothers got to go to school and how they were able to get food there. One day her...