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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:350
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098317393

The Hills That Divide

by Robert T. Cohen

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The Hills That Divide transports you to a time between 1848 and 1924 when America represented an escape from persecution, poverty, starvation, and death for 30 million European immigrants. Among them were a Jewish shoemaker from Russia, an Italian sulphur miner from Sicily, and an orphaned son of a tannery worker from Ireland, who came to Haverhill, Massachusetts to find work in one of its many shoe factories. The immigrants and their children became laborers, managers, union representatives, or even factory owners. Haverhill was surrounded by hills that not only mirrored the geographic and residential division of its immigrant population, but also their religious, cultural, social, and economic differences. Haverhill was a true melting pot; that was a good thing. But ethnic and religious prejudice, greed, income inequality, and class envy caused the pot to boil with hostility that was further heated by disputes between owners and workers, often resulting in strikes, lockouts, and violence. While love, religious faith, human kindness, and self-sacrifice helped to lower the pot's boiling point to a more tolerable simmer, the immigrant families had to deal as well with other challenges, including alcohol abuse, sibling rivalry, teenage rebellion, interfaith marriage, homophobia, betrayal, and tragic death. The Hills That Divide lays bare the eternal human themes of survival, resilience, love, success, disappointment, prejudice, betrayal, tragedy, and redemption; it reflects the dynamic struggle between the good and the dark side of human nature.


About the author
Why would I write my first novel at 73-years of age? A one-word answer: legacy. I decided that the greatest legacy I could pass onto my children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in my life, but rather a tangible source of inspiration and encouragement to never feel too old to try something new. The Hills That Divide is a legacy from me to them. I believe that there is truth in the cliche that a writer writes about what he/she knows. I grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts. To pay for college, I worked side by side with union shoemakers in an antiquated factory. There, I witnessed the economic struggle between owners and workers. I also learned important life lessons, having had to cope with the personal challenges of being raised in a dysfunctional family marred by emotional abuse, rejection, betrayal, and sibling rivalry - issues that make their appearance in this novel. The Hills That Divide reflects the dynamic struggle between the good and the dark side of human nature. I graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and attended New York University's Stern School of Business Management. I held executive-level positions in the publishing, technology, and cosmetic industries where I specialized in labor and employee relations. I was also employed by the National Labor Relations Board. For the last twenty-five years of his career, I was the founder and principal consultant of a management consulting firm that served Fortune 500 and smaller companies.
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