Pub Date: January 16, 2024
Publisher: Five Star Press
Page Count: 274
Format, Price, ISBN:
Hardcover, $26.95, ISBN: 979-8-9886261-0-7
Paperback, $16.95, ISBN: 979-8-9886261-1-4
Ebook, $7.99, ISBN: 979-8-9886261-2-1
64 Black and white photographs, including a map.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A TIMELY AND RIVETING STORY OF A REFUGEE GIRL FROM NAZI GERMANY TURNED TRAILBLAZING NEW YORK ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE WHO SHATTERS GLASS CEILINGS
In July 1940, Barbara Feigin was a two-year-old toddler when she fled with her parents from Nazi Germany. Risking their lives with only $10.50, the clothes on their backs, and what they could carry, and with no idea where they would settle and how they would make a life for themselves, they embarked upon a 17-day terrifying journey by train from Berlin to Yokohama, Japan. Every moment along the way, her parents feared they would be stopped and taken off the train as they traveled through Lithuania, Russia, China, Korea, and finally to Japan where they boarded a Japanese ship and sailed across the Pacific to Seattle, Washington. As her father later said, they had gone “. . .three quarters of the way around the world, into the unknown.”
Over seventy years later, Feigin made an incredible discovery–her father had kept a journal of their escape from Nazi Germany. Her parents had rarely spoken of their escape and had never mentioned her father’s journal, and she remembered nothing of their passage. There had been a gaping hole in her family’s history, and her father’s journal would help to fill it.
My American Dream is a memoir of resilience, grit, and grace that starts with the entire text of Feigin’s father’s journal, relating in his own words the terrifying details of the family’s escape. Feigin goes on to weave together three intertwining narratives of her own life. First she tells of being a young, German-speaking refugee living in Chehalis, a tiny town in southwest Washington State, yearning to become an “authentic” American and of her experiences with anti-Semitism.
Then Feigin details how she rose through the ranks and became a trailblazing executive in the advertising business in New York City in the 1960s, during the ‘Mad Men’ era when career-building opportunities for women were virtually non-existent. She tells of ultimately securing a seat in the executive boardroom, where she was often the only woman in the room.
Finally she tells of her life as a devoted wife and mother of three sons (including one set of identical twins), spending 25 years as the caregiver-in-chief for her husband, Jim, who suffered two very serious strokes when he was quite young. The family’s strong bonds and great love for Jim helped them navigate this traumatic time.
Despite overwhelming odds, her parents’ grueling journey to America has fueled Feigin’s lifelong resolve to dream big, work hard, and never quit. My American Dream is an inspiring story of love, dedication, and how uncovering the past and preserving history can inform your identity.
Pub Date: May 17, 2022
Genre: Memoir / Christian Inspirational
Publisher: She Writes Press
Page Count: 304