American Judaism: a History by Jonathan Sarna

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Jonathan D. Sarna’s award-winning American Judaism is now available in an updated and revised edition that summarizes recent scholarship and takes into account important historical, cultural, and political developments in American Judaism over the past fifteen years.


Selected by the American Jewish Committee as part of its "Canon of Jewish Literacy," and winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award.

The first comprehensive history of American Judaism in over fifty years, this book is both a celebration of Jewish life in America, and essential reading for anyone interested in American religion and life. In sprightly prose, Jonathan Sarna tells the story of individuals struggling to remain Jewish while also becoming American. He offers a dynamic and timely history of assimilation and revitalization, of faith lost and faith regained. How did American culture—predominantly Protestant and overwhelmingly capitalist—affect Jewish religion and culture? And how did American Jews shape their own communities and faith in the New World?

Marking the 350th anniversary of Jewish settlement in New Amsterdam (present-day New York), this outstanding survey emphasizes the religious history of Jews in the United States, while providing a sweeping overview of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of American Jews from 1654 to the present.

About the Author: Jonathan Sarna is the Museum of American Jewish History's chief historian. The Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, he chairs the Academic Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. He has authored or edited more than twenty books on American Jewish history and life, and also served as chief historian to the 350th Commemoration of Jewish Life in America, 1654-2004.

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