Jews in American Politics: Introduction by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman / Edition 544

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Joseph Lieberman's Vice Presidential nomination was neither the first nor last word on signal Jewish achievements in American politics. Jews have played an important role in American government since the early 1800s at least, and in view of the 2000 election, there is no political office outside the reach of Jewish American citizens. For the first time, Jews in American Politics brings together a complete picture of the past, present, and future of Jewish political participation. Years in the making, this monumental work includes thoughtful and original chapters by leading journalists, scholars, and practitioners. Topics range from Jewish leadership and identity; to Jews in Congress, on the Supreme Court, and in presidential administrations; and on to Jewish influence in the media, the lobbies, and in other arenas in which American government operates powerfully, if informally. In addition to the thematic chapters, Jews in American Politics includes over 400 biographical profiles of prominent Jews throughout American political history, and concludes with an invaluable roster of Jews in key governmental positions from Ambassadorships and Cabinet posts to federal judges, state governors, and mayors of major cities. Part reference and part reflection, Jews in American Politics offers deep insight into serious questions about the dilemmas that Jews in public service face, as well as humorous sidelights and authoritative reference materials never before collected in one source. The story of the rich tradition of Jewish participation in American political life provides at once the perfect gift for every Jewish home as well as an indispensable resource for any serious follower of American politics.
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Editorial Reviews

Cleveland Jewish News
Jewish young adults who read this book may be motivated to consider careers in public service. Parents who read it may encourage their children to contemplate such careers. The book may instill in some readers a senses of pride in Jewish contributions to American government.
B'nai B'rith Magazine
The book is a 'tsimmes' of history, biography, facts, and figures of who's in and who's out. Of why many Jews have shifted to the right while a good portion remained liberal. Of issues other than Israel that mark our consciences. It includes a list of suggested reading and a roster of co-religionists in cabinet, ambassadorial, and mayoral positions as well as those in the House and Senate. Political junkies make space on your desks.
The editors are to be commended for creating a useful reference work that will be used for years by students of U.S. politics. This book will be a welcome addition to reference desks and general collections in libraries across the country.
St. Louis Jewish Light
This book adds to our understanding of Jews in American politics.
National Journal
A wonderful new book.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
The collection of essays, Jews in American Politics, is not simply a 'locate the landsman' exercise but an attempt to address a number of issues—such as Jewish political behavior, Jewish advocacy and the relationship between politics and Jewish identity—along with important demographic information on over 400 biographical profiles.
Hadassah Magazine
A work of rich merit, brimming with data, Jews in American Politics is likely to engross expert and layman alike.
Handsome and authoritative book. This volume will entertain, inform and inspire. . . . Encyclopedic book.
J. The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California
The book contains a wealth of scholarly information.
Heritage: Florida Jewish News
A major contribution to American Jewish history. We are indebted to the editors for a thorough exploration of the subject. The thought-provoking essays are written by an outstanding group of political scientists, historians, political practitioners and journalists.
Chicago Sun-Times
A remarkable and comprehensive new book.
Michigan Jewish History
...a treasure trove of Jewish trivia. Jews in American Politics will be a major reference and resource for Jewish political scientists and any Jew involved in or interesed in the Jewish contribution to the American political system. It may also serve to stimulate the entrance of future generations of Jews into politics.
Political Studies Reviews
The book is a useful tool and an excellent resource.
Journal Of Nietzsche Studies
This complete history of American Jewish politics and the people who contributed to that history should be included in all our reference collections.
ForeWord Reviews
This book fills a vacuum, documenting the contributions of two centuries of Jewish experience in the history of American Politics.
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.)
The experience I had during the 2000 presidential campaign has only deepened my feelings about public service. It reinforced my basic faith in the goodness and tolerance of the American people, my belief that there is an important role for idealism in public life, and my conviction that each individual can make a contribution to a better society. It has also convinced me as never before that American Jews have an important and special role to play in the civic life of this great country. . . . That is the spirit I hope readers—particularly young readers—will draw from this important book.
David M. Shribman
He keeps kosher. He walks to shul. He doesn't campaign on Saturdays. He has a wife named Hadassah. He gabs in Yiddish. Mainstream historians will remember the 2000 presidential election campaign for its emptiness, its closeness, its flirtation with endlessness. But Jews will remember it for the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, and for his Jewishness. . . .The nomination came at a moment in history in which it was not unrealistic to believe that Americans of all flavors were less inclined to stress their differences than to celebrate the breakthroughs of another of the groups that provide the American stew with its richness and spice. That was the achievement, and the meaning, of the extraordinary selection of Joseph Isador Lieberman to join the Democratic ticket in what would prove to be an extraordinary political year.
Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)
This book is a first of its kind—an all-in-one encyclopedia that both chronicles the Jewish political experience from Oscar Straus to Joe Lieberman and critically analyzes what it all means. Well-written, insightful, and full of useful information, Jews in American Politics is a must-read for the scholar, the student, and the average citizen alike.
Daniel R. Glickman
This book is a brilliant description of the texture and rich heritage of Jewish involvement in American politics. What will really surprise many people is the geographic and ideological diversity of those Jewish Americans who led the way over the years.
Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
It's a sign of the increased maturity of American society that Jewish candidates for elected office are now able to run without anti-Semitism posing a serious obstacle in most parts of the United States. And it is a sign of the maturity of American Jews that we are willing to discuss this openly without fear of provoking an anti-Semitic reaction. This book is an excellent example of that discussion—thoughtful, informed, and informative.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Reading Jews in American Politics is like finding a missing puzzle piece. Never before has there been such a detailed account of the Jewish political experience. Using thought provoking essays and compelling statistics, this work tells us where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. It is a must-read for anyone interested in politics and any person with a love of history and heritage.
Hal Bruno
This is a fascinating and comprehensive study of the role Jews have played in American politics and government. Along with documenting their many unique contributions, it is a tribute to their own determination and to the democracy that gave them the opportunity to overcome the barriers of anti-Semitism.
Michael Barone
Jews have long played an important role in American politics—behind the scenes and, increasingly, in the spotlight. Jews in American Politics tells the story from colonial days to the nomination of Joseph Lieberman for vice president in 2000, and fills a place that has been vacant for too long on our political bookshelves.
New Jersey Jewish News - Matthew E. Berger
Only two other Jews have sought a major party nomination for the presidency, according to the book Jews in American Politics.
From the Publisher
Ira Forman, co-editor, said the tradition of reform politics in Minnesota and Wisconsin opened the door to Jews.
Connie Chung Tonight - Cnn.Com Transcripts - Sen. Joseph Lieberman
We can learn that words hurt. And I wouldn't say though, though a lot of people, I'm sure, have forgiven both Jesse Jackson and Robert Byrd for what they've said in the past, a lot of people have not forgotten those words.
Political Studies Review
The book is a useful tool and an excellent resource.
Barney Frank
It's a sign of the increased maturity of American society that Jewish candidates for elected office are now able to run without anti-Semitism posing a serious obstacle in most parts of the United States. And it is a sign of the maturity of American Jews that we are willing to discuss this openly without fear of provoking an anti-Semitic reaction. This book is an excellent example of that discussion—thoughtful, informed, and informative.
The Jewish Community Association Of Austin
A fascinating compilation of essays and biographical sketches examining Jewish participation in American political life and government. Anyone with an interest in history, government, or politics will want to read the book or browse for chapters of particular appeal.
The Boston Phoenix
The book includes an introduction by Lieberman, a series of scholarly essays on Jews in American life, an all-but-mandatory encyclopedia of Jewish politicians, and several databases vital to political addicts. I know what I'll be reading this winter
The Sourse Israel
Great Chanukah Gift for political buffs and students of American politics and history!
The Washington Post
This volume examines Jews' participation in politics disproportionate to their numbers (about 2 percent of the U.S. population). It also shows the important role religion has played in shaping Jewish attitudes toward justice and communal responsibility.
The Weekly Standard
A useful reference volume and a highly readable contribution to political historiography, chronicling American Jewish politicians. Alongside surveys of such big topics as identity, Jewish involvement in the radical left, and the turn toward neoconservatism, the book contains a selection of short biographies and useful lists. At best, a book to have on your desk for odd moments of quiet. At worst, bin Laden's greatest nightmare.
The Jerusalem Post
The book is useful and handy in format.
Publishers Weekly
Jews in American Politics, edited by L. Sandy Maisel and Ira N. Forman, documents 200 years of Jewish participation in American political life. Chapters by noted Jewish scholars and journalists consider Jews' relationships to, for instance, the major political parties, the media, foreign policy and the conservative movement. Jewish political pioneers are highlighted as well from Florence Prag Kahn, who from 1925 to 1937 was the first Jewish woman to serve in the House of Representatives, to Senator Joseph Lieberman, in whose vice presidential campaign "Jewishness wasn't a big deal, which itself was a very big deal." With numerous biographical sketches of Jews in government as well as broader discussions of activism, identity and advocacy, this book is an excellent source of both fact and analysis. Introduction by Sen. Lieberman. 150 b&w photos. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742501812
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 544
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.26 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.39 (d)

Meet the Author

L. Sandy Maisel is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor and chair of the Department of Government at Colby College. Ira N. Forman is executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council and the research director of the Solomon Project.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Prologue: The Lieberman Candidacy Part 3 Part I Themes, Trends, and American Political Institutions Chapter 4 Identity and Polity: Dilemmas of Jewish Leadership Chapter 5 At the Summit: Presidents, Presidential Appointments, and Jews Chapter 6 On the Hill: Jews in the U.S. Congress Chapter 7 On the Bench: The Jewish Justices Chapter 8 Movers, Shakers, and Leaders: Jewish Party Politicians Chapter 9 Who Does What? Jewish Advocacy and Jewish "Interest" Chapter 10 A Part and Apart: Jewish Americans, the Media, and American Politics Chapter 11 The Politics of Minority Consciousness: The Historical Voting Behavior of American Jews Chapter 12 Still Liberal After All These Years? The Contemporary Political Behavior of American Jewry Chapter 13 Right Turn? Jews and the American Conservative Movement Chapter 14 Famished for Justice: The Jew as Radical Chapter 15 Activists and Organizers: Jewish Women and American Politics Chapter 16 Israel and Beyond: American Jews and U.S. Foreign Policy Chapter 17 Hosts not Visitors: The Future of Jews in American Politics Part 18 Part II Biographical Profiles Part 19 Part III Rosters of Jewish Leadership and Voting
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