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Tradition Transformed

The Jewish Experience in America

Gerald Sorin

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Brings together all aspects of American Jewish history—the transformation of a people, their religion, their move into trade and commerce, their political commitments, and their contributions to education and culture.

Throughout American history, from the colonial era to the present, Jews have found America generally hospitable. Yet even in this relatively receptive country, which essentially replaced Israel as the "promised land," there have been vexing questions for Jews—questions about the costs of freedom and mobility, especially with regard to the erosion of Jewish tradition and...

Brings together all aspects of American Jewish history—the transformation of a people, their religion, their move into trade and commerce, their political commitments, and their contributions to education and culture.

Throughout American history, from the colonial era to the present, Jews have found America generally hospitable. Yet even in this relatively receptive country, which essentially replaced Israel as the "promised land," there have been vexing questions for Jews—questions about the costs of freedom and mobility, especially with regard to the erosion of Jewish tradition and distinctiveness.

In this one-volume history of the Jewish experience in America, Gerald Sorin argues that, from colonial times to the present, "acculturation" and not "assimilation" has best described the experience of Jewish Americans. American Jews, Sorin explains, have maintained their unique ethnic characteristics yet have become part of mainstream, middle-class American life. Sorin also shows how the large migration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century made a lasting impact on how other Americans imagine, understand, and relate to Jewish Americans and their cultural contributions today.

Drawing together all aspects of American Jewish history, this concise volume deals with the transformation of a people, their religion, their move into trade and commerce, their political commitments domestically and internationally (especially after the Holocaust), and their contributions to education and culture.

Reviews

Reviews

Sorin's thesis is extremely timely, and his book deserves to be read both widely and closely by our communal elites consumed with the notion that American Jews are hellbent on assimilation.

Probably the best brief history of American Jews available.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
312
ISBN
9780801854477
Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword
Preface and Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. Perspectives and Prospects
Chapter 2. The Threshold of Liberation, 1654–1820
Chapter 3. The Age of Reform, 1820–1880
Chapter 4. The Eastern

Series Editor's Foreword
Preface and Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. Perspectives and Prospects
Chapter 2. The Threshold of Liberation, 1654–1820
Chapter 3. The Age of Reform, 1820–1880
Chapter 4. The Eastern European Cultural Heritage and Mass Migration to the United States, 1880–1920
Chapter 5. Transplanted in America: The Urban Experience
Chapter 6. Transplanted in America: Smaller Cities and Towns
Chapter 7. Jewish Labor, American Politics
Chapter 8. Varieties of Jewish Belief and Behavior
Chapter 9. Power and Principle: Jewish Participation in American Domestic Politics and Foreign Affairs
Chapter 10. Mobility, Politics, and the Construction of a Jewish American Identity
Chapter 11. Almost at Home in America, 1920–1945
Chapter 12. American Jewry Regroups, 1945–1970
Chapter 13. Israel, the Holocaust, and Echoes of Anti-Semitism in Jewish American Consciousness, 1960–1995
Chapter 14. The Ever-Disappearing People
Bibliographical Essay
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Gerald Sorin

Gerald Sorin is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of History at the State University of New York, New Paltz. He is the author of A Time for Building: The Third Migration, 1880-1920 (Volume 3 of The Jewish People in America), available from Johns Hopkins.