Grandfather J. B.: Letters to My Grandson offers strong characters and longings for education and philosophy

From the family of Mary Grossman and Joel Grossman (she the coeditor of Law & Change in Modern America, he a chaired professor of political science at Johns Hopkins), comes the witty, acerbic, and sweet correspondence by grandfather Joseph Bercovici, a self-taught Romanian immigrant who produced a “clan” of novelists and academics. This is his book, and in it he gets the last say. [Links below to many eBook and paperback formats.]

Grandfather J. B. is a memoir presented through poignant, witty letters written by a real old-school character to his professor grandson in the Sixties, first published by Little Brown and now in quality digital and paperback. With plenty of subtext and wistfulness of dreams of philosophy or just going to college, the book compels attention for its strong characters deftly revealed by short letters–and always the stern correction of the grandson.

Joseph Bercovici was proud of his family of writers, artists, and professors, but was noticeably envious of their opportunities that had long passed him by. He shared himself deeply, if often unwittingly, in letters to a grandson, Joel, who was in the midst of becoming an acclaimed political scientist. Joseph chided the 6′4″ “boy” on his VW, choosing political science and law as fields of study, using computers, and–most interesting even today–the remarkable subtleties of English. But, irregardless (someone finally explains why that’s wrong!), there is much life and love shared between them. With the letters skillfully compiled by clan-addition Mary Grossman, the story and his remarkable character unfold without ever seeing a reply letter. Through Joseph’s searing but sometime naive eyes, the fascinating story of a family of prodigies is revealed, warts and all.

Turns out, the poor immigrant did become an author, as with many of his children and descendants still, and this is the product. We have all had a grandfather just like this, and none of us has.

AVAILABLE in eBooks and new paperback:

Amazon Kindle Store for Kindle and apps.  [And at Amazon UK here.]

Barnes & Noble for Nook and Nook apps.

At Google Play app.

Smashwords in PDF, ePub, online, and Sony formats; also for Kobo ereaders at Kobobooks.

See it also on Apple iTunes and iBooks,  as previewed online here.


Sold at leading retailers, including our e-store page at Amazon, the Amazon main site, and at B&N. Our direct sales page is here. Libraries and others may purchase from online sites or through YBP Library Services.


Paperback ISBN: 9781610270328

ePub and multiformats ISBN: 9781610270298