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A captivating story of unlikely success, bought with hunger, determination, and hardship. Immigrant biographies will perhaps often offer such benefits. Few can hope to be as articulate and evocative as Michael Pupin s story of the long road from Idvor to New York, From Immigrant to Inventor.
A young Serbian sheepherder who arrived in New York in the early spring time of 1874. Scheming to afford a bare steerage ticket for the ship Westphalia, Michael sold his school books, his old watch, the clothes off his back, his only winter coat and the hat off his head. Finally succeeding he found he had no money left for a mattress or blanket for his meagre steerage bunk. Enduring freezing cold and hoping for a balmy American climate he left his hard, cold bunk and in desperation curled up around a warm chimney on the open deck, a decision that saved his life. After surviving the passage on will, grit and fanciful belief that Native Americans dressed as though American weather was warm, he arrived alone at Castle Garden, New York.
In the author s own words I started out with just one suit of clothes on my back and a few changes of linen, and a red Turkish fez which nobody would buy .
The bedraggled ex-shepherd from the back of beyond could be argued to have become king of all he surveyed. This Pulitzer Prize winning work towers above other autobiographies in its complexity. The homesickness is palpable but the lust for adventure will make your heart race all the same.
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