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We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, a Documentary History Hardcover – March 21, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-0809332922 ISBN-10: 0809332922 Edition: 1st Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st Edition edition (March 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809332922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809332922
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A rich, scholarly, instructive reminder that there’s always more to learn about Honest Abe."—Kirkus Reviews

“It is a great tribute to Gary Zola’s passion, research skills, and narrative talent that after thousands of books on Abraham Lincoln, he has produced a stunningly original work that throws new light not only on our sixteenth president and his relationship with the Jewish community but also on the broader story of the American experience.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

“Everyone interested in Lincoln and the Civil War, students, scholars, and lovers of history alike, owe Gary Zola a debt of thanks for compiling this fascinating book. Through scores of rare original documents and his own revealing analysis, Zola explores Lincoln’s relations during his life with Jews and Judaism, and how Jews, like other Americans, later came to identify with Lincoln and to claim him, in spirit if not religious affiliation, as one of their own.”—Eric Foner, author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

“This is the most important contribution to the literature on Abraham Lincoln and the Jews in more than half a century. Judiciously written, including rare primary sources and little-known photographs, this is a volume that anyone interested in Jews and the Civil War will want to own.”—Jonathan D. Sarna, author of When General Grant Expelled the Jews

"This book is fascinating."Jewish Book Council  

"This timely, well researched, and immensely thorough book will give readers valuable insight and understanding into the role that Lincoln played within the various Jewish communities both before and during his presidency."
Civil War Monitor

"Zola provides the fullest documentary record of the Lincoln-Jewish connections, and he offers an argument that warrants consideration, not only to understand American Jewry but also to apply to any "outsider" group wanting to remain true to its own identity and heritage while asserting a special relationship with the dominant cultural 'hero' of the larger society."
Library Journal  

About the Author

Gary Phillip Zola is the executive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and a professor of the American Jewish experience at Hebrew Union College. He is the author of  The Americanization of the Jewish Prayer Book and the Liturgical Development of Congregation Ahawath Chesed, New York City; and Isaac Harby of Charleston: Jewish Reformer and Liberal; and he has edited several books, including Women Rabbis: Exploration & Celebration; and The Dynamics of American Jewish History: Jacob Rader Marcus’s Essays on American Jewry.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Berger on March 4, 2015
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-written, carefully researched, sensitive and touching story of Lincoln's relationship with Jewish Americans and our admiration, and later veneration, of him. The 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death will soon be here (April 15, 2015) and it's a time to grow in your understanding of this great man, the reasons for his deep affection for the Jewish people, and for our seeing him more as a Father Abraham than as a Moses, who freed the slaves. That his death came during Passover, when Jews celebrate the story that we were once slaves in Egypt, had to have made his death an even more stunning blow. Can you imagine the anguish when word of the assassination came to many when they were in synagogue on Saturday morning, April 16. (For Christians, his death on Good Friday must have been even more telling.)

Recently I attended a more than two hour talk by Dr Zola here in Cleveland. He is an outstanding teacher and I would imagine that he would have made a point in teaching this topic to say more about the background and mind-set of American Jews. (Perhaps he did, but the book's editors removed such materials.) So I suggest that if you are not familiar with the desires for freedom held by both Christians and Jews who left those German-speaking lands in the 1840s and 50s, their love of our country (an amazing 24 percent of Union forces were "German" born men and their sons), and for Jews the growing belief that America was Israel - the promised land - do some reading. The book and its beautifully written sermons and speeches, will affect you all the more.
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0 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Susie Q on August 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have so many books to read for three bookclubs I have loaned this book to a friend who is home ad not well. He loves historical books.
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We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, a Documentary History
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