Writing a Modern Jewish History - Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara; The Jewish Museum - Yale University Press

Art and Architecture
Literary Studies

Published in association with The Jewish Museum  

Writing a Modern Jewish History

Essays in Honor of Salo W. Baron

  • Edited by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett with essays by Arthur Hertzberg, Susannah Heschel, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Donald Kuspit, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Ariel Segal, and poems by Robert Pinsky
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Winner of the 2006 National Jewish Book Award in Anthologies and Collections

In this insightful book, an eclectic and distinguished group of writers explore the Jewish experience in the Americas and celebrate the legacy of Salo Wittmayer Baron (1895–1989), a preeminent scholar who revolutionized the study of Jewish history during his lengthy tenure at Columbia University.

Baron’s important ideas are reflected throughout these texts, which concern strategies for the continuous identity of a dispersed people. Featured essays discuss the meaning and significance of colonial portraits of American Jews; the history of an extraordinary group of Jews in the remote Amazon; the charitable fairs organized by Jewish women to raise money for various causes in nineteenth-century America; the place of Jews in postmodern American culture; the “Jewish unconscious” of the art critic Meyer Schapiro; and Salo Baron’s influence as a historian and teacher. A group of poems by Robert Pinsky accompanies the essays. Together these writings form a dynamic interplay of ideas that encourages readers to think deeply about Jewish history and identity.

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is the author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage and coauthor of Getting Comfortable in New York: The American Jewish Home, 1880–1950.