A Concise History of American Antisemitism

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A Concise History of American Antisemitism shows how Christianity's negative views of Jews pervaded American history from colonial times to the present. The book describes the European background to American anti-Semitism, then divides American history into time periods, and examines the anti-Semitic ideas, personalities, and literature in each period. It also demonstrates that anti-Semitism led to certain behaviors in some United States officials that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Clear and forceful, A Concise History of American Antisemitism is an important work for undergraduate course use and for the general public interested in the roots of the current rash of anti-Semitism.

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Editorial Reviews

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies
Remarkably broad in its scope, the book explores the anti-Jewish sentiments expressed in the writings and pronouncements of political, civic, philanthropic and business leaders, contemporary literature and poetry, law, and (some) forms of popular culture. . . . In compiling such a comprehensive list, Michael does students of American Jewish history a great service. He also offers an important challenge to historical works that see antisemitism rooted more in social conditions or economic and social competition than in Christian Theology.
— Cheryl Greenberg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742543126
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/15/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Michael is professor emeritus of history at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and Visiting Professor at Ringling School of Art and Design and Florida Gulf Coast University. His other books include: Dictionary of Anti-Semitism, An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich, and The Holocaust: A Chronology and Documentary. He is working on a poetry collection and a novel.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : "the United States is above all things a Christian nation" 1
1 "We never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when we do it out of religious conviction" : European antisemitism before the founding of America 15
2 "The preservation of Christianity is one of the great and leading ends of government" : the Jews in the American colonies and early state history 57
3 "Chock full of lies, wickedness, and blasphemy" : American attitudes toward Jews before the Civil War 69
4 "A people whose feet run to evil" : American antisemitism from the Civil War through World War I 87
5 "The Jews reap more and more dislike as they better themselves" : American responses to Jews during the interwar period 127
6 "The acquiescence of this government in the murder of the Jews" : America, the Jews, and the Holocaust from 1938 to 1945 170
7 "The Jews are dangerous people" : a new beginning? : America and the Jews since 1945 196
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