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In response to a precipitous rise in the price of kosher meat, thousands of immigrant Jewish women took to the streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1902, intending to shut down every kosher butcher shop in the Jewish quarter until prices came down. The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902 tells the twin stories of uneducated but deeply observant female immigrants who discover their collective power as consumers, and of the Midwestern meatpacking cartel that conspired to keep prices high. Anticipating both the consumer movement and contemporary Jewish activism, these women organized themselves into a potent fighting force.
Scott D. Seligman is the author of numerous works of biography and narrative nonfiction, including The Third Degree: The Triple Murder that Shook Washington and Changed American Criminal Justice, which won a gold medal in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and Tong Wars: The Untold Story of Vice, Money and Murder in New York’s Chinatown. His newest book is The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902: Immigrant Housewives and the Riots that Shook New York City (Potomac Books). Seligman holds degrees from Princeton and Harvard Universities.
Program made possible, in part, by Judy Baston.
Co-presented by the The Workers Circle/Arbeter Ring of Northern California.