Gentleman's Agreement (novel)

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Gentleman's Agreement
Gentlemens Agreement novel 1st edition.jpg
First edition
Author Laura Z. Hobson
Country United States
Language English
Subject Antisemitism
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
Pages 275
Preceded by The Trespassers
Followed by The Other Father

Gentleman's Agreement is a 1947 novel by Laura Z. Hobson which explored the problem of anti-Semitism in the United States, what The New York Times called, in a contemporary review, "a story of the emotional disturbance that occurs within a man who elects, for the sake of getting a magazine article, to tell people that he is a Jew and who experiences first-hand, as a consequence, the shock and pain of discriminations and social snubs."[1]

The book, originally published in serial form in Cosmopolitan in 1946, was published by Simon & Schuster, and became a runaway bestseller, selling over 1.6 million copies.[2] It reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in April 1947. The book was adapted into a 1947 film of the same name starring Gregory Peck.

The book tells the story of Philip Green, new staff writer for a national magazine. A gentile, he is assigned by his magazine to tell the story of anti-Semitism. He decides to do that by telling people that he is Jewish.

This ruse causes problems with his fiancee, who is a social climbing suburbanite and divorcee. Green's son is victimized by anti-Semitism as well, adding to the tension.

The book received rave reviews, with The New York Times Book Review calling it "required reading for every thoughtful citizen in this perilous century". The Philadelphia Inquirer said it "bids fair to being one of the most astonishing novels of the year".