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Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition (Goldstein-Goren Series in American Jewish History) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Goldstein-Goren Series in American Jewish History
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814720285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814720288
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"... a provocative study of Jews' complicated relationship to alcohol and Prohibition in American history."
-Publishers Weekly,

"In her debut, Davis suggests that anti-Semitism and Prohibition were parallel expressions of political disquiet during the turn of the last century...A fascinating, nuanced social history."
-Kirkus,

“A pioneering study of Jews and the American trade in alcohol from entrepreneurial 19th century immigrants through 20th century battles over prohibition.  Lively, well-researched, and comprehensive, this will long stand as the definitive study of Jews, booze, and evolving American taboos.”
-Jonathan D. Sarna,author of American Judaism: A History

“Imaginatively conceived, fiercely researched, beautifully written, Jews and Booze is welcome news indeed. A very talented and promising historian has shown how a contentious slice of the American Jewish past can remain important to today's readersand has made a particular conflict between Protestant moralism and ethnic habits her own.”
-Stephen J. Whitfield,author of In Search of American Jewish Culture

“In this groundbreaking study, Davis deftly blends social and cultural history to uncover the important role American Jews played in the liquor trade, and the hostilities they elicited. In recovering this nearly forgotten past, Jews and Booze provides a prism through which to view the difficulties of Americanization.” -Tony Michels,author of A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York

About the Author

Marni Davis is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia State University.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lionel S. Taylor on March 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the other reviews have pointed out Jews and Booze is an academic book. But that does not mean that only those with an academic interest in the topic should read it. More than a history about Prohibition this is a story about an ethnic groups efforts to integrate into the larger American society and how the groups relationship with alcohol served as both help and a hindrance in this effort. What makes this interesting is that while all ethnicities had to find a way to integrate into the American mainstream (a process that is still ongoing today) each does it in a slightly different way. Davis argues that in the case of a large number of immigrant Jews in the 19th century this was through the alcohol trade. This becomes an especially difficult as the forces of prohibition gain strength and the source of income and integration into the larger society begins to be denounced as an evil and evidence of the Jewish liquor merchant's unwillingness to integrate into society. The book begins with a history of the involvement of Jews in the alcohol trade and then how their detractors used this involvement as a way to alienate Jews. The part of the book about the efforts of Henry Ford to attack Jews as amoral liquor peddlers was especially interesting. It concludes with a very good explanation of the how Jewish involvement in the alcohol trade was attacked during Prohibition and how Jews tried to cope with the challenges that this new era presented.Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Hack on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The title may lead you to believe that this will be an entertaining book, but "Jews and "Booze" is primarily of academic interest. Well researched and organized, it will have a place on some university reading lists. Unfortunately, there is not much of human interest for the reader. Of the many people who owned bars or worked in manufacturing of alcoholic beverages, are there no surviving first-hand accounts of their experiences dealing with enforcement of the Volstead Act? The economic impact of prohibition on them would also interest today's readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Maple Jr. on November 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very revealing about Jewish interpretation of the time period and the whole concept of prohibition. Read very quickly.Missing part of American history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A sold seriously scholarly treatment of the subject. Those looking for entertainment with tales of Jewish prohibition gangsters are well advised to look elsewhere.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Frank on January 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I felt like I was reading a college dissertation. The topic sounded so interesting but the writer put me to sleep. I got half way though it before I decided it just wasn't worth it any more.
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