The Schmooze

When Traveling in America Meant Trouble

Crossposted From Under The Fig Tree

For centuries, taking to the road has been the stuff of grand adventure and equally grand literature. From Benjamin of Tudela’s 12th century “Book of Travels” to Jack Kerouac’s 1957 “On the Road,” travel has been bound up with freedom and an enhanced sense of self.

But what if travel turned out to be more a matter of constraint, of diminished expectations, than of affirmation?

Consider the experience of kosher-keeping Jews in America of the early 1900s, at a time when kosher food was hard to come by. For them, traveling throughout the United States was surely no picnic.

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When Traveling in America Meant Trouble

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