THE JEW IN AMERICAN LITERATURE by Sol Liptzin

THE JEW IN AMERICAN LITERATURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Liptzin taught at City College, now teaches at Haifa's Technion, and was the president of the Jewish Book Council. These credentials aside, one can say that his survey owes more to enterprise than insight and after providing the historical framework (23 Jews landed here in 1954) shows what little imprint there was of the Jewish language and literature on the colonial era. In 1808 ""American Jewry became articulate"" for the first time with the publication of a play by Mordecai Noah; however, even through the 19th century Jews for the most part did not use Jewish themes and ""Jewish content"" was better expressed elsewhere. Dr. Liptzin documents the Jew as proto-or-stereotype not only in creative writing, but also in newspapers, editorials, sermons, etc.; indicates trends--with the 19th century immigration, legend gave way to reality; discusses present-day writers particularly in terms of the impact of Israel, the changing image of the Jew toward the Jew, acculturation, etc. His literary judgments are something else again and they seem to be vastly influenced by what he calls ""Jewish content""-- how else would you admire Leon Uris and deplore Philip Roth? The most that can be said for the book is that it is earnestly exhaustive and might serve as a record and testimonial to a great many people who are now certainly forgotten.

Publisher: Bloch