A Double Thread: Growing up English and Jewish in London

In his fascinating memoir, A Double Thread: Growing Up English and Jewish in London, John Gross does exactly what the title promises: he shows how the English and Jewish cultures can intertwine and yet remain distinct. It’s important to note that we’re not talking about Judaism as a religion — think of how different the title would feel if it said Growing Up English and Catholic in London. It’s closer to something like Growing Up English and Chinese in London, where the reader would immediately think of culture or ethnicity, not religion — just with “Jewish” instead of “Chinese.”

Anyway, this book spans most of the 20th Century, including the Second World War and the Holocaust. I’ve read a lot of English books, in which the authors’ Englishness plays a major role; and a lot of Jewish books, in which the authors’ Jewishness plays a major role; but this particular combination is unique in my experience. I recommend it.

Categories: Books, Travel