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American Jewry
A New History


  • Date Published: January 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521196086

£ 77.00

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About the Authors
  • Understanding the history of Jews in America requires a synthesis of over 350 years of documents, social data, literature and journalism, architecture, oratory, and debate, and each time that history is observed, new questions are raised and new perspectives found. This book presents a readable account of that history, with an emphasis on migration patterns, social and religious life, and political and economic affairs. It explains the long-range development of American Jewry as the product of 'many new beginnings' more than a direct evolution leading from early colonial experiments to latter-day social patterns. This book also shows that not all of American Jewish history has occurred on American soil, arguing that Jews, more than most other Americans, persist in assigning crucial importance to international issues. This approach provides a fresh perspective that can open up the practice of minority-history writing, so that the very concepts of minority and majority should not be taken for granted.

    • Proposes a wider concept of American Jewish history, highlighting its transnational features
    • Formulates a new model of 'many new beginnings' to replace the traditional model of long-term immigration histories
    • Synthesizes documents, social data, literature and journalism, architecture, oratory, and debate over a period of more than 350 years to trace the history of Jews in America
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a significant contribution to the study of American Judaism, delivered intelligently and succinctly. Lederhendler (American Jewish history, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) emphasizes the sparseness and transience of early Jewish settlement, the relatively accommodating nature of the colonies and the new American nation, civic integration, occupational diversity, intermarriage, and the lack of rabbis. … Summing Up: Essential. All public and academic levels/libraries.' R. C. Cottrell, CHOICE

    'He focuses on how American Jews preserved a sense of Jewish peoplehood rather than on how they adapted to domestic events. His implicit argument is that the historian needs to approach the American Jewish experience as part of the global Jewish tapestry.' Elliot Jager, The Jerusalem Report

    '… Eli Lederhendler's panoramic new survey, conveys the mastery and depth of insight one would expect from this wide-ranging and prolific scholar. As would any worthwhile work of intellectual synthesis, Lederhendler's book creates new cloth out of threads pulled from decades of historical observation.' Marni Davis, The American Jewish Archives Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521196086
    • dimensions: 236 x 158 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. First encounters, new beginnings: from colonial times to the Civil War
    2. Changing places: migration and Americanization, 1860s–1920s
    3. Finding space in America, 1920s–50s
    4. The European nexus: Spain, Germany, and Russia
    5. Recapitulations and more beginnings, 1950s to the twenty-first century

  • Author

    Eli Lederhendler, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Eli Lederhendler was born in New York City, attended the Bronx High School of Science and graduated from Columbia University, New York (BA) and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (BHL, MA, PhD). He has taught modern Jewish history at University College London, Vassar College, New York, Yale University, Connecticut and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he holds the Stephen S. Wise Chair in American Jewish History and Institutions. He is the author of several noted books on American Jewish history in the twentieth century, including the Koret Jewish Book Award-winning New York Jews and the Decline of Urban Ethnicity (2001), and is also co-editor of the prestigious annual journal Studies in Contemporary Jewry.

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