Press Release – The Emotional Cost of the Struggle To Be An American


Currently on Amazon’s best seller lists of Jewish World Literature and Jewish-American Fiction, Cynthia Drew’s compelling new book takes readers back in time to experience life through the eyes of another culture. Drew’s own experience in the garment district, and extensive research, sets the backdrop for life as a Jew escaping pogrom Russia to a sweatshop on the streets of New York.


Asheville, NC, October 1, 2012 – The author might not be Jewish, but City of Slaughter (Daniel and Daniel Publishers, Inc.) by Cynthia Drew is beautifully written from a Jewish perspective, with meticulous research that provides a powerful picture of the plight of women at the beginning of the 20th Century, and the obstacles they were forced to overcome. Already on Amazon’s list of Best Selling Jewish American Literature and Fiction, City of Slaughter is an exceptional work of historical fiction that is both exciting and inspiring and takes readers back in time to see the world through the eyes of another culture.

When fourteen-year-old Carsie Akselrod’s parents are murdered by Cossacks during a raid on the shtetl, Carsie flees with her younger sister, Lilia, touching off a turbulent journey that ends eight months later on New York’s Lower East Side.  Plunged into the immigrant chaos of the most crowded square mile on earth, the two girls take sweatshop jobs – Carsie as a milliner’s apprentice and Lilia at the ill-fated Triangle Waist Company. It never occurs to Carsie that in her haste to live the life she strives for in America she hasn’t stopped to lament her parents’ deaths.

Life in the tenements shocks Carsie and is definitely not what she envisioned in her new life. When her first love, a gangster named Arnold Rothstein, leaves her for a showgirl she smothers her grief and anger once more. But when her sister is killed in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, (until 9/11 the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York City), Carsie is powerless to mourn in any way and is haunted by all she has lost in her struggle to be American. Alone and on the edge of madness, she tries to fight back against everything that has wronged her.

Set against Tammany Hall politics, gangland crime, and the rise of the American garment trade, City of Slaughter runs the gamut of human emotion in a tale of a woman torn by love, family, faith and a drive for fulfillment to claim her place in New York’s fashionable high society.

This profound historical tale, told through the lives of rich and engaging characters, propels readers into a time where faith, hope and inner strength were pivotal to a woman’s survival. The rave reviews on this extraordinary story confirm how the unexpected turns of events that take place in the life of its lead character make for one exhilarating read, not easy to put down.

Cynthia Drew’s short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and she teaches Creative Writing at UNC/Asheville’s Reuter Center. She worked for several years in New York’s garment district, where she became aware of the sweatshops that even today are peopled by immigrants. For more information on Cynthia Drew and her heartfelt debut novel, please visit her website at:

Available at fine bookstores, online outlets and author’s website

City of Slaughter
By Cynthia Drew
Publisher: Daniel & Daniel
ISBN-10: 1564745147
ISBN-13: 978-1564745149


Midwest Book Reviews: “… an excellent historical fiction novel that focuses on a Jew’s life under Pogrom Russia and in teeming New York.  Fans will relish this strong look at the plight, dreams, setbacks and triumph of a Jew who is far from an American princess as she brings a spotlight on the first quarter of the twentieth century.”

Baltimore Jewish Times: “This rapidly paced novel kept me absorbed from the start as I followed the twists and turns of Carsie’s life. …”

Tea at Trianon Book Blog: “…  It can be a challenge to go back in time and see the world through the eyes of another culture but the author has succeeded magnificently. A brilliant work of historical fiction, City of Slaughter is both heartbreaking and hopeful. …”

Historical Novels Review: “…The author has obviously done her research; readers of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle will recognize this world…this is an interesting read. The strong theme of self-actualization will appeal to many female readers.”

Booklist:  “Bitter truths, sweet moments, and the gamut of human emotion thread together in Drew’s stark, detailed debut…Taking on themes of women’s equality, parity for workers, and the role of immigrants in shaping their new countries, Drew stitches together a tale that will stun readers with what the human heart can withstand while never losing faith that hope lies just around the corner.”



~ by adelesymonds on October 2, 2012.

2 Responses to “Press Release – The Emotional Cost of the Struggle To Be An American”

  1. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

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