Garfield's crazy-quilt, hilarious odyssey is a search for self: the American self, the suddenly-emerging threatened self, and his own baffled self — a secular Jew. The Lower Merion native, and the co-host of public radio's On The Media, returns to his roots by launching his one-man show right here.
In Ruggedly Jewish, Garfield dares to ask large, yet simple questions. In a raw, wistful, hilarious and disturbing encounter session, Garfield weaves together disparate narrative threads on the subject of identity — including his own nominal Jewishness — to explore the exploration of self itself. Ruggedly Jewish bounces from harrowing life-and-death moments to oddballs galore. This new work, set to tour in 2018, is an odyssey in search of the search for self: the selves of the characters the journalist has chronicled; the American self, informed by nothing less than the founding promise of the Pursuit of Happiness; the suddenly emerging threatened self, defined against a sinister Other, and Garfield's own baffled self — a secular Jew, playing the role of Odysseus, very much at sea.
«Who are you? What is your ambition? What is your identity? What is your destiny? These turn out to be peculiarly American questions, and they are especially trenchant at this frightening moment in our history,» said Garfield. «In Ruggedly Jewish, I embark on an odyssey in search of the search for self in this complicated world of shifting identities.»
Garfield, a Lower Merion native, has forged a 40-year career in newspapers, magazines, radio and television, and co-hosts WNYC's On the Media with Brooke Gladstone. The Peabody-winning weekly hour is a Top 50 podcast and is broadcast by 450 stations nationwide. A longtime resident of Washington, DC, Garfield is the author of five books, a recent visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and a Senior Fellow at the Wharton Future of Advertising Program, SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. For 25 years, his weekly AdReview evaluated, vetted, parsed, deconstructed and offered prognostications for worldwide advertising based on such criteria as strategy, communication, taste, ethics, brand relevance, cultural relevance and craftsmanship. Over the past decade, he has chronicled the digital revolution, culminating in his landmark 2009 book, The Chaos Scenario. He is also the author of the marketing manifesto on advertising And Now a Few Words from Me and Can't Buy Me Like, a guide to the ascendant Relationship Era of marketing co-authored with Doug Levy.