Academic journal article American Jewish History

Editor's Introduction

Academic journal article American Jewish History

Editor's Introduction

Article excerpt

This issue of American Jewish History includes another article in our new series, Signposts, which invites leading scholars to reflect upon this journal and the ways in which it furthers our understanding of American Jewish life. Launched in 1892, the journal does more than reveal the concerns and interests of the many authors published in its pages. It also helps us to understand both the winds of change that have buffeted the American Jewish community over more than 120 years and the many social currents that have swept Jews to new experiences and perspectives.

As we embark upon the centennial commemoration of World War I, an event that impacted Jews in profound ways, Hasia Diner assesses two significant articles by Max Kohler that reveal both the concerns of their time and the motivation for writing about Jews that so energized their author. Published in 1916 and 1918 on the heels of the war, Kohler's "long and meticulous" pieces marshaled data on Jews that contributed to the international effort to ensure the rights of minorities in Europe--a humanitarian goal that soon became a concern of Woodrow Wilson's administration.

Following Diner's article, Robert Benjamin provides an analysis of the impact of Ludwig Lewisohn's 1928 novel, The Island Within. The book's reception helps us to understand the fluid nature of Jewish-gentile relations in the United States during the 1920s. …

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