A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus

By Naomi W. Cohen | Go to book overview

fourteen
IN PERSPECTIVE

To explain the cold and alien America of the twenties Straus might have said that the fault lay in the fact that America had drifted away from her historic course. Indeed, he was fond of citing the passage in Lecky which warned of the dangers when a nation cuts itself off from its past. Americanism, as Straus defined it, meant primarily a recognition of the equal rights of all citizens. But underlying the liberties enumerated by law was the spirit behind American tradition, a spirit which Straus saw dictating a policy of humanitarian diplomacy, inviolability of freedom of conscience, a welcome to the immigrant, equality of opportunity, and leadership of the nations of the world in the paths of peace. By such standards, the United States of the post-war world had denied her own past.

Historical continuity and loyalty to tradition constituted the basis of Straus' own actions. He served two traditions at the same time, Americanism and Judaism, representing thereby a distinct type in modern Jewish history--that which successfully reconciled political and social emancipation with a keen Jewish self-consciousness. The desire for total assimilation in a Christian world was as alien to him as nostalgic ties to ghetto life. Personally unconcerned with problems of Jewish national existence, he did not experience the emotional upset which emancipation brought to many of his generation, and he did

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A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • One - The Emergence Of a Liberal 3
  • Two - Minister To Turkey 21
  • Three - A Merchant In Politics 39
  • Four - Communal Stewardship 55
  • Five - Second Mission To Turkey 74
  • Six - In the Paths Of Peace 102
  • Seven - Humanitarian Diplomacy 121
  • Eight - Secretary Of Commerce And Labor 145
  • Nine - The Taft Years 174
  • Ten - "The Future Belongs To Progressivism" 199
  • Eleven - Peace And War 228
  • Twelve - The Fight For The League 252
  • Thirteen - End Of An Era 284
  • Fourteen - In Perspective 295
  • Notes 303
  • Bibliography 365
  • Acknowledgments 379
  • Index 381
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