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Literary Precedents for Gentleman's Agreement

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In Lincoln Steffens's Autobiography (1931), the author's experience parallels that of Phil Green. Steffens describes how, as a young reporter, he is sent by his editor to speak to the proprietor of a hotel, whose practice it is to exclude Jewish clientele. He emerges from the interview with firsthand knowledge of the existence of anti-Semitism in America.

Similarly, in Ludwig Lewisohn's autobiography Up Stream (1922), the author narrates his personal encounters with anti-Semitism. Upon entering Columbia University as a graduate student, he is informed that there are limitations for Jews in the teaching profession, and he is advised to change his professional aspirations.

Anti-Semitism was also dealt with in fictional works preceding Gentleman's Agreement. In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926), Robert Cohn's character is molded by the anti-Semitic experiences he encounters as a student at Princeton. As a result, he develops a marked inferiority complex and in order to...

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This section contains 188 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Gentleman's Agreement Short Guide
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Gentleman's Agreement from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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