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Throughout American history, from the colonial era to the present, Jews have found America generally hospitable. Yet even in this relatively receptive country, which essentially replaced Israel as the "promised land," there have been vexing questions for Jews—questions about the costs of freedom and mobility, especially with regard to the erosion of Jewish tradition and distinctiveness.
In this one-volume history of the Jewish experience in America, Gerald Sorin argues that, from colonial times to the present, "acculturation" and not "assimilation" has best described the experience of Jewish Americans. American Jews, Sorin explains, have maintained their unique ethnic characteristics yet have become part of mainstream, middle-class American life. Sorin also shows how the large migration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century made a lasting impact on how other Americans imagine, understand, and relate to Jewish Americans and their cultural contributions today.
Drawing together all aspects of American Jewish history, this concise volume deals with the transformation of a people, their religion, their move into trade and commerce, their political commitments domestically and internationally (especially after the Holocaust), and their contributions to education and culture.
Johns Hopkins University Press
— Mark Stoll
|Series Editor's Foreword|
|Preface and Acknowledgments|
|Ch. 1||Perspectives and Prospects||1|
|Ch. 2||The Threshold of Liberation, 1654-1820||11|
|Ch. 3||The Age of Reform, 1820-1880||21|
|Ch. 4||The Eastern European Cultural Heritage and Mass Migration to the United States, 1880-1920||34|
|Ch. 5||Transplanted in America: The Urban Experience||61|
|Ch. 6||Transplanted in America: Smaller Cities and Towns||91|
|Ch. 7||Jewish Labor, American Politics||107|
|Ch. 8||Varieties of Jewish Belief and Behavior||126|
|Ch. 9||Power and Principle: Jewish Participation in American Domestic Politics and Foreign Affairs||147|
|Ch. 10||Mobility, Politics, and the Construction of a Jewish American Identity||160|
|Ch. 11||Almost at Home in America, 1920-1945||179|
|Ch. 12||American Jewry Regroups, 1945-1970||194|
|Ch. 13||Israel, the Holocaust, and Echoes of Anti-Semitism in Jewish American Consciousness, 1960-1995||214|
|Ch. 14||The Ever-Disappearing People||234|