From Publishers Weekly
A Chanukah menorah with each of its eight branches topped by a mini Statue of Liberty exemplifies as well as anything in this fascinating volume the deep connection that Jews have developed with America and its culture over the past 350 years. This handsome volume, which explores that connection, accompanies an exhibit at the Library of Congress, which will also travel to Cincinnati, New York City and Los Angeles. But the book stands on its own, both as a historical assessment and as a lovely coffee table book filled with illuminating images from the Librarys vast holdings. Many of the articles are by major scholars, such as Jonathan Sarna, Deborah Dash Moore and Leonard Dinnerstein. Jack Wertheimers essay on "American Jewry Since 1945" includes posters highlighting Jewish concerns, such as the demand to free Soviet Jewry. Sarnas essay on Judaism in America includes the title page of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wises Reform prayer book, appropriately titled Minhag Amerika (the American rite). The bad is rememberedthe lynching of Leo Frank, the anti-Semitic rants of Father Coughlinbut so is the goodthe joys of Yiddish theater, the flourishing of Jewish women in America. Comprehensive, beautiful and erudite, this is an excellent gift for anyone interested in Jewish American history and culture.
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About the Author
Michael W. Grunberger
is Head of the Hebraic Section at the Library of Congress, where he has curated such exhibits as "Zion's Call" and "Scrolls from the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Scholarship." He lives in Washington, D.C.