STRANGERS AND NATIVES: The Evolution of the American Jew by Judd L. Teller

STRANGERS AND NATIVES: The Evolution of the American Jew

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With none of the more arguable aspects of his earlier Scapegoat of Revolution (1954), this is an interesting, amplified overview of the acculturation of primarily the Eastern European Jew of the lower East Side onwards and upwards from the early twenties. With Jacob Schiff as the helmsman-landsman of ""the Yidn,"" versus the German ""allrightniks."" Mr. Teller concentrates on the primary features of this particular community (restricted by the damper of the 1921 immigration policies)--their active, orthodox religious observances; their strong theatre and press. Through the thirties (lacking any real leadership), forties, to the present, the exodus is made from the heartland downtown to the West Side, the Bronx and Queens; American Zionism, divisive and procrastinating, is strengthened; Commentary becomes the ""halfway inn for Jewish intellectuals"" so dominant in the creative arts; Jews become prominent in polities, but now face an increasingly touchy situation, caught in the pincer action between an ""oppressed Christian minority and an oppressor Christian majority."" Obviously, a much less social social history than Our Crowd, and certainly, in a popular sense, not as likely to relate as the Yaffe book The American Jew, also in this issue, but a considered, multifaceted perspective of the assimilating patterns of the last fifty years.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1968
Publisher: Delacorte