An American Family: Four Centuries. Two Continents
By: S. Frederick Starr
About the Book
This book recounts the history of an American family that was formed in the 1930s by the marriage of seeming opposites from the two sides of the ethnic divide that separated descendants of earlier Anglo-Saxon and German settlers from the millions of newcomers from Central Europe and Italy who arrived after 1900. Its immediate geographical focus is the American Midwest, the areas surrounding Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio. Its deeper geography extends to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Lancastershire and Cumbria in northern England and Southampton on England’s south coast, to the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany, to St. Petersburg in Russia, and to Austria, Budapest and the distant eastern lands of Hungary. Religiously, it embraces Catholics, Jews. The Church of England, Quakers, Methodists, and Unitarians. And with respect to professions, it includes farmers, homemakers, preachers, artists, shop-keepers, photographers, lawyers, educators, housemaids, judges, scholars, and businessmen.
Finally, this is a book about change. One of the families involved changed its religion three times and the other changed its name three times. Yet there are also continuities aplenty, and most notably in the qualities of seriousness, ambition, tenacity, and commitment to family that prevail throughout.
About the Author
The author, S. Frederick Starr, is the third of four children of the marriage that brought together partners from very different worlds, thereby forming the family that is this book’s subject. A historian and archaeologist by profession, and also an educator and musician, it fell to him to dig up, evaluate, and present information from many quarters. Unfortunately, by the time he set about writing this book, all of those who might have been his best sources had died. However, several family members, including his own siblings, retained what turned out to be invaluable scraps of information. And as the story grew closer to the present, he had access to the growing mass of electronically preserved information on all our lives that is overwhelming biographers everywhere. Readers who wish to explore any avenues further can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(2023, paperback, 272 pages)
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