Mary Antin (1881–1949) author

2011-01-26 08:28:13

Mary Antin was a powerful voice for immigrant assimilation in America and one of the foremost champions of an open immigration policy in the early 20th century. Born in Polotsk, Russia, she, her mother and her siblings joined her father, who had emigrated in 1891, in Massachusetts in 1894. Her first book, From Plotzk to Boston (1899), was written in Yiddish. She became nationally famous with her autobiographical The Promised Land (1912), which had been serialized in the Atlantic Monthly. Following the success of The Promised Land, she lectured widely and frequently spoke on behalf of Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party. Antin’s ardent support for immigrant conformity to Anglo societal norms made her popular with mainstream audiences and led to widespread use of her works in public schools.