American Jewry: A New History

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9781316632628: American Jewry: A New History

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.

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Book Description:

This book introduces and details cultural, economic, and political relations among Jews and non-Jews in seventeenth to early twenty-first-century America, encompassing national affairs and foreign relations. Readers of colonial and early national American history or the history of ethnic group migrations will discover a new perspective by seeing critical issues reflected in the lives of Jewish citizens.

About the Author:

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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