In the Almost Promised Land: American Jews and Blacks, 1915-1935

Overview

Seeking the reasons behind Jewish altruism toward African Americans, Hasia Diner shows how - in the wake of the Leo Frank trial and lynching in Atlanta - Jews came to see that their relative prosperity was no protection against the same social forces that threatened blacks. Jewish leaders and organizations genuinely believed in the cause of black civil rights, Diner suggests, but they also used that cause as a way of advancing their own interests - launching a vicarious attack on the nation that they felt had not...
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Overview

Seeking the reasons behind Jewish altruism toward African Americans, Hasia Diner shows how - in the wake of the Leo Frank trial and lynching in Atlanta - Jews came to see that their relative prosperity was no protection against the same social forces that threatened blacks. Jewish leaders and organizations genuinely believed in the cause of black civil rights, Diner suggests, but they also used that cause as a way of advancing their own interests - launching a vicarious attack on the nation that they felt had not lived up to its own ideals of freedom and equality.
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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
Based upon thorough research and documentation, In the Almost Promised Land
Cithara: Essays in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Based upon thorough research and documentation, In the Almost Promised Land vividly illustrates the well-known but little-understood phenomenon of Jewish support for a better life for American blacks. Diner has produced a significant contribution to the examination of ethnic studies and an insightful analysis of certain aspects of the early years of the civil rights movement in the twentieth century.

Historical Review

Helps explain why a special relationship between Jews and blacks developed within the context of a particular historical period and why that relationship ultimately ended.

Labor History

Diner has neither idolized nor debunked the Jewish leaders who sought to help blacks achieve a better life. What she has done, and this should be a model for others writing ethnic history, is to examine the complexities that motivated one group of individuals to help another.

Cithara: Essays in the Judeo-Christian Tradition
Based upon thorough research and documentation, In the Almost Promised Land vividly illustrates the well-known but little-understood phenomenon of Jewish support for a better life for American blacks. Diner has produced a significant contribution to the examination of ethnic studies and an insightful analysis of certain aspects of the early years of the civil rights movement in the twentieth century.
New York Review of Books - David Brion Davis

No one has equaled the American historian Hasia Diner in richly documenting the strong support given to African-American legal, economic, and educational rights, between 1880 and 1935, by Jewish newspapers, religious leaders, lawyers, labor leaders, social workers, and philanthropists.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Hasia Diner is professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of Erin's Daughters in America and A Time for Gathering: The Second Migration, 1820-1880 (Volume II in the series The Jewish People in America), both available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Jews and Blacks in American Society 3
2 "The Souls of Two Nations": Images of Blacks in the Yiddish Press 28
3 "To Fight Their Battles": English-Language Jewish Magazines and Images of Blacks 89
4 "A Covenant Kept": Jews in the Black Civil Rights Movement 118
5 "To Serve at the Common Altar": Jews and Black Philanthropy 164
6 "Our Exploited Negro Brothers": Jewish Labor and the Organization of Black Workers 199
Conclusion: Blacks and the Jewish Quest for Identity 236
Bibliography 244
Index 267
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