Elżbieta Janicka and Michael Steinlauf

Feb 22, 2023

This Was Not America

A Wrangle Through Jewish-Polish-American History

Cherry Orchard Books 2022

From fleeing the Warsaw Ghetto and living underground to fighting for social justice in 1960s' Seattle and helping smash the communist system in 1980s' Poland, this is a narrative that erupts into critical moments in Jewish, Polish, and American history. It is also a story of the hidden anguish that accompanies and courses through that history, of the living haunted by the dead. 

This Was Not America: A Wrangle Through Jewish-Polish-American History (Cherry Orchard Books, 2022) is told through a conversation, often contentious, between Michael Steinlauf, historian of Polish-Jewish culture and child of Holocaust survivors, and the anthropologist and artist Elżbieta Janicka. It is illustrated with scores of photographs and documents.

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