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Recommended Books: The Island Within

The Island Within by Ludwig Lewisohn

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The Island Within

Ludwig Lewisohn
Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1928

Recommended by:
Jonas Salk, M.D.

There are a few significant books that I recall: Michael Hunter's Life of Louis Pasteur. I remember reading, as an adolescent, a book called The Island Within by Ludwig Lewisohn. The idea of the "island within" gives you the sense of the resonance that this had for me, because of my sense of myself, and the dialogues that I had with myself.

About the Book

A dramatic and philosophical novel of a an American Jewish psychiatrist struggling with questions of identity and assimilation.

Until the other day, we Americans lived as though we had no past. There were old families in Eastern cities who worshipped ancestors and played with heraldic devices in a quiet fashion. But the children of the many millions swept past these into the public schools and began the world all over again with Lexington and Bull Run and Valley Forge and the Declaration of Independence.