Maurice Samuel

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Maurice Samuel (February 8, 1895 – May 4, 1972) was a Romanian-born British and American novelist, translator and lecturer.


Born in Măcin, Tulcea County, Romania, to Isaac Samuel and Fanny Acker, Samuel moved to Paris with his family at the age of five and about a year later to England where he studied at the Victoria University. His parents spoke Yiddish at home and he developed strong attachments to the Jewish people and the Yiddish language at early age.[1] This later became the motivation for many of the books he wrote as an adult. Eventually, he left England. Samuel emigrated to the United States and settled in New York in 1917.[2]

A Jewish intellectual and writer, he is best known for his work You Gentiles, published in 1924. Most of his work concerns Judaism or the Jew's role in history and modern society, but he also wrote more conventional fiction, such as The Web of Lucifer, which takes place during the Borgias' rule of Renaissance Italy, and the fantasy science-fiction novel The Devil that Failed. Samuel also wrote the nonfiction King Mob under the pseudonym "Frank K. Notch". He and his work received acclaim within the Jewish community during his lifetime, including the 1944 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his non-fiction work, The World of Sholom Aleichem. He received the Itzik Manger Prize for Yiddish literature posthumously in 1972.

He died in 1972 in New York City.

Published works[edit]


  • The Outsider (1921)
  • Whatever Gods (1923)
  • Beyond Woman (1934)
  • Web of Lucifer (1947)
  • The Devil that Failed (1952)
  • The Second Crucifixion (1960)


  • You Gentiles (1924)
  • I, the Jew (1927)
  • What Happened in Palestine: The Events of August, 1929: Their Background and Significance
  • King Mob: A Study of the Present-Day Mind (1931)
  • On the Rim of the Wilderness: The Conflict in Palestine (1931)
  • Jews on Approval (1932)
  • The Great Hatred (1940)
  • The World of Sholom Aleichem (1943)
  • Harvest in the Desert (1944)
  • Haggadah of Passover (1947) (translation)
  • Prince of the Ghetto (1948)
  • The Gentleman and the Jew (1950)
  • Level Sunlight (1953)
  • The Professor And The Fossil (1956)
  • Certain People of the Book (1955)
  • Little Did I Know: Recollections and Reflections (1963)
  • Blood Accusation: the Strange History of the Beiliss Case (1966)
  • Light on Israel (1968)
  • In Praise of Yiddish (1971)
  • In the Beginning, Love: Dialogues on the Bible (collaboration) (1975)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maurice Samuel Papers". Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  2. ^ Mihăilescu, Dana (2012-04-01). "Images of Romania and America in early twentieth-century Romanian-Jewish immigrant life stories in the United States". East European Jewish Affairs. 42 (1): 25–43. doi:10.1080/13501674.2012.665585. ISSN 1350-1674. S2CID 162672161.

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