Scholarly yet highly readable, this concise history of the American Jewish experience makes compelling reading. Starting even before the 1654 arrival of the first Jewish immigrants, it profiles the wide-ranging Old World origins of the people of the Diaspora, in addition to examining the New World cultures of Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe.
The author chronicles the effects of changing political and economic climates on the Jewish community, along with the rise of the Jewish labor movement and the settlement of immigrants on New York City's Lower East Side. The final third of the book focuses on events of the twentieth century, with perceptive chapters on Jews and American foreign affairs, American Jewry and the Holocaust, and the American Jewish condition today.
Its skill in transmitting historical complex processes in a simple, straightforward manner makes this volume an ideal text. Beyond the classroom, readers with an interest in ethnic cultures will find this work a fascinating historical synthesis.