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Jews on the Frontier: Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America (North American Religions) Paperback – December 15, 2019

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


""Scholars of immigration have toiled for years on the question of how mobility affects nationalities and group identities alike. In Jews on the Frontier, Shari Rabin gives this framework an interesting twist by investigating mobility’s influence on religion. By relying on personal letters, published articles, and other first-hand testimonies, Rabin argues that the expanding United States created a uniquely American religion." ― American Jewish Archives Journal

"Rabin’s religious studies scholarship differs from the typical histories of both American Jews in particular and Jewish history more broadly… [her] scholarship attends to place and space, nature, and infrastructure, and it also analyzes national particulars without being fully bounded by them." ― Journal of Religion

"Jews on the Frontier stands as a significant historiographical intervention in de-centering established institutions and denominations and the Protestant secular from the narratives of minority religions and religious communities." ― Reading Religion

"Jews on the Frontier is a compelling account of the cultural and spiritual changes experienced by American Jews outside the main coastal cities and their large congregations before the large East-European emigration waves of the late Nineteenth-Century." ― Civil War Book Review

"Rabins clarion call to reimagine the labels we use to describe ourselves, to embrace diasporism, and to resist centralized practices speaks to a generation that actively deconstructs patriarchal and heteronormative structures, thinks more globally, and operates outside the institutional framework. . . . Jews on the Frontieris a valuable read not only for scholars of American Jewish and American religious history, but change-minded activists and citizens as well." ― Marginalia Review of Books

"In [an] enlightening study largely focusing on the preCivil War South and West, Rabinexamines the intertwining of Jews and mobility in the 19th-century US...Impressively documented, this intriguing exploration is appropriate for general libraries." ― Choice

"Rabin makes a compelling case here that the full arc of American Jewish history cannot ignore the young Jewish men who pursued their livelihoods by heading for the frontier. Their religious inconsistencies, creativities, and sense of empowerment as ordinary Jews may actually serve as a better template for thinking about how Judaism developed in America." ― Annals of Iowa

"Generating as many questions about the nineteenth century American Jewish experience as answers, Rabins study enables us to take its measure, to see Jewish life on its own terms: as a full-throttled, complex, lively culture all its own rather than a backdrop to the sea changes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." ― American Historical Review

"Jews on the Frontier is one of the most significant contributions in years to the study of nineteenth-century American Judaism with vast implications for students of American religion generally. An eye-opening and creative study of how mobility shaped distinctive patterns of religious life." -- Jonathan D. Sarna,author of American Judaism: A History

"Rabin convincingly describes frontier mobility as the motive force behind one of the most creative and constructive eras in American Judaism." ― The Journal of Southern Religion

About the Author

Shari Rabin is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Religion at Oberlin College.

Product details

  • Publisher : NYU Press; Reprint edition (December 15, 2019)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1479835838
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1479835836
  • Item Weight : 10.7 ounces
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.51 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

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