Klezmer America: Jewishness, Ethnicity, Modernity / Edition 1

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Overview

Jonathan Freedman argues that terms central to the Jewish experience in America, nations like "the immigrant", the "ethnic", and even the "model minority", have worked and continue to intertwine the Jewish-American with the experiences, histories, and imaginative productions of Lations, Asians, African Americans, and gays and lesbians, among others. He traces these relationships in a number of arenas: the crossover between jazz and klezmer and its consequences in Philip Roth's The Human Stain; the relationship betweem Jewishness and queer identity in Tony Kushner's Angels in America; fictions concerning ceypto Jews in Cuba and the Mexican-American bordland; the connection between Jews and Christian apocalyptic narratives; stories of "new immigrants" by Bharathi Mukherjee, Gish Jen, Lan Samantha Chang, and Gary Shteyngart; and the revisionary relation of these authors to the classic Jewish American immigrant narratives of Henry Roth, Bernard Malamud, and Saul Bellow. By interrogating the fraught and multidimensional uses of Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness, Freedman deepens our understanding of ethnoracial complexities.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
There are some fascinating vignettes in this book.

— Shoel Stadlen

Times Literary Supplement - Shoel Stadlen

There are some fascinating vignettes in this book.

Wasafiri - David Brauner

always engaging and at time groundbreaking.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231142786
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 1/11/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Freedman is professor of English and American studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Professions of Taste: Henry James, British Aestheticism, and Commodity Culture and The Temple of Culture: Assimilation and Anti-Semitism in Literary Anglo-America.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Angels, Monsters and Jews: From Kushner to Klezmer 39

2 Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, and the Making of Ethnic Masculinity 94

3 Antisemitism Without Jews: Left Behind in the American Heartland 140

4 The Human Stain of Race: Roth, Sirk, and Shaw in Black, White, and Jewish 164

5 Conversos, Marranos, and Crypto-Latinos: Jewish-Hispanic Crossings and the Uses of Ethnicity 209

6 Transgressions of a Model Minority 251

7 Asians and Jews in Theory and Practice 283

Conclusion: The Klezmering of America 322

Notes 333

Index 371

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