A Perfect Fit.

Author:Richards, Geraldine
Position:Book review

Gabriel M. Goldstein (editor), Elizabeth E. Greenberg (editor); A PERFECT FIT; Texas Tech University (Nonfiction: History) 49.95 ISBN: 9780896727359

Byline: Geraldine Richards

The thirteen essays in A Perfect Fit emphasize the connection between the culture and values of Jewish immigrants and their descendents and the growth of the garment industry in the US. This volume is an extension of the exhibition of the same name presented at Yeshiva University Museum during 2005-2006.

The essays bring together seventeen scholars from various areas of expertise. These include history, anthropology, business, economics, decorative arts, and design. In addition to the curators of the Yeshiva Museum project, independent researchers and faculty from a broad range of institutions are represented, including NYU, Berkeley, the University of Missouri, and the Acoles des Hautes Atudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

A Perfect Fit often tames the expansive scope of history by focusing on the experience of individual Jewish families. Well-known and prestigious companies like Brooks Brothers and Hart, Schaffner & Marks began as family businesses in the early 1800s. By focusing on the experience of one group or individual families, A Perfect Fit also offers a framework for investigating how other minorities have contributed to the changing mosaic of American life.

As a work of scholarship, A Perfect Fit reveals how one industry and its pioneers transformed the relationship between workers and management, shifted the focus of fashion from Europe to America, and brought quality garments "off the shelf" to consumers across the country. It also descibes how fashion continues to be a vital part of the US economy as well as a vehicle for other "newcomers" to enter the workforce. Presenting two narratives of American history -- immigration and survival, and social and cultural...

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