The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity by Eric L. Goldstein | 9780691136318 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity

The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity

by Eric L. Goldstein
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691136319

ISBN-13: 9780691136318

Pub. Date: 12/26/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

What has it meant to be Jewish in a nation preoccupied with the categories of black and white? The Price of Whiteness documents the uneasy place Jews have held in America's racial culture since the late nineteenth century. The book traces Jews' often tumultuous encounter with race from the 1870s through World War II, when they became vested as part of

Overview

What has it meant to be Jewish in a nation preoccupied with the categories of black and white? The Price of Whiteness documents the uneasy place Jews have held in America's racial culture since the late nineteenth century. The book traces Jews' often tumultuous encounter with race from the 1870s through World War II, when they became vested as part of America's white mainstream and abandoned the practice of describing themselves in racial terms.

American Jewish history is often told as a story of quick and successful adaptation, but Goldstein demonstrates how the process of identifying as white Americans was an ambivalent one, filled with hard choices and conflicting emotions for Jewish immigrants and their children. Jews enjoyed a much greater level of social inclusion than African Americans, but their membership in white America was frequently made contingent on their conformity to prevailing racial mores and on the eradication of their perceived racial distinctiveness. While Jews consistently sought acceptance as whites, their tendency to express their own group bonds through the language of "race" led to deep misgivings about what was required of them.

Today, despite the great success Jews enjoy in the United States, they still struggle with the constraints of America's black-white dichotomy. The Price of Whiteness concludes that while Jews' status as white has opened many doors for them, it has also placed limits on their ability to assert themselves as a group apart.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691136318
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/26/2007
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES ix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xi
INTRODUCTION 1

PART I: THE JEWISH "RACE" IN AMERICA, 1875-1895

CHAPTER 1: "Different Blood Flows in Our Veins": Race and Jewish Self-Definition in Late-Nineteenth-Century America 11

PART II: JEWS IN BLACK AND WHITE, 1896-1918

CHAPTER 2: The Unstable Other: Locating Jews in Progressive Era American Racial Discourse 35
CHAPTER 3: "Now Is the Time to Show Your True Colors": The Jewish Approach to African Americans 51
CHAPTER 4: "What Are We?":Jewishness between Race and Religion 86

PART III: CONFRONTING JEWISH DIFFERENCE, 1919-1935

CHAPTER 5: Race and the "Jewish Problem" in Interwar America 119
CHAPTER 6: "A White Race of Another Kind"? 138
CHAPTER 7: Wrestling with Racial Jewishness 165

PART IV: FROM OLD CHALLENGES TO NEW, 1936-1950

CHAPTER 8: World War II and the Transformation of Jewish Racial Identity 189
EPILOGUE: Jews, Whiteness, and "Tribalism" in Multicultural America 209

NOTES 241
INDEX 293

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