Coming Soon: One American Dream - 3/21/17
The only thing Jack Rubin ever wanted was to be a real American. A ten-year-old Jewish immigrant from Poland, he arrives in New York City in the late 1800s and begins his American journey by pulling himself up by the bootstraps. Upon his marriage to Rose, Jack begins his family and the pair become successful in their businesses. Very successful. But Jack still constantly checks himself to see if he has become an authentic American, and every time he is disappointed. As he struggles while raising their headstrong daughter through the Roaring Twenties, he feels like a failure. Only when he finds himself helping those less fortunate during the Great Depression does he realize that he’s been a real American all along.
Bernard Beck's debut fiction novel, One American Dream is an incredibly touching and thoughtful story of a family struggling to agree on their cultural identity. Readers will be inspired by the richness of each life explored in this fictional family history as Bernard Beck does a brilliant job of showing changing generational values in the early 1900's. This historical novel is a story that explores a question that is highly relevant today. What makes an American? Follow the generations of this immigrant family as they find their way through the challenges of life.
Aboard the boat that deposits him in 1890s New York, ten-year-old Jack Rubin swears he will become an authentic American. He refuses to speak his native Polish or Yiddish, instead, learning English in his new home of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Believing the wealthy Americans living in the best neighborhoods are The American Dream, Jack resolves to become like one of them.
He soon finds himself busy with American life—getting married, running businesses, delving into Jewish theology, and raising his daughter. Throughout his life, Jack checks himself to see if he has achieved his goal of becoming a true American, and, despite his wealth and success, he believes he always falls short.
Jack’s daughter, Ruthie, is born into the life Jack strived so hard to achieve. She is wealthy, educated, and American, but she despises her lifestyle. Growing up in the bohemian New York of the Roaring Twenties, Ruthie becomes an insatiable reader, and an even more insatiable writer. After one of her short stories is noticed by a big book publisher, Ruthie and her editor enter into a relationship that ultimately tests their faith, families, and lives. The Great Depression follows the dramatic events that unfold, and, in the in the depths of the country's despair, the Rubin family will be pushed down paths that they had never imagined. But through it all, Jack discovers the heart of what it means to be an authentic American.
Every author draws from within himself: Who am I? And what do I stand for? Well, in his case, Bernard Beck is an American. And he stands for what he perceives as American values, but is also a self-described restless soul. A native of the New York/New Jersey area, Bernie attended Jewish religious school (yeshiva) from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. He then attended City College in the fifties, where he also worked part-time and summers for an advertising agency in Brooklyn. Following graduation in 1959, he spent two years in the army, stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina with his wife Judy.
Upon return to civilian life, he joined his father’s giftware business which, under Bernie’s management over the following thirty years, evolved into a major national importer and distributor of candles and Christmas ornaments.
After the recession of 1988, Bernie closed the business and began his second career as a business consultant and an adjunct professor of marketing at Rutgers University. This second phase lasted for twelve years. Upon retirement, Bernie authored the books The Bible, The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written and True Jew, Challenging the Stereotype, drawing upon his religious school background, combined with his marketing knowledge.
Bernie has been married to Judy for fifty-five years and together they have three children and five grandchildren. Both are very active in their community. They live in New Jersey, about ten miles west of New York, where they have lived nearly all of their married lives.