- Book Notes
American Jewish Life
America, Its Jews, and the Rise of Nazism, by Gulie Ne’eman Arad. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. 328 pp. $35.00. ISBN 0-253-33809-3.
Gulie Arad contextualizes the American Jewish encounter with Nazism within the overall history of the American Jewish experience from the mid-nineteenth century and offers an explanation of the ambivalent political response of Jewish leaders in dealing with the Roosevelt administration.
The Half-Jewish Book: A Celebration, by Daniel Klein and Freke Vuijst. New York: Villard, 2000. 256 pp. $21.95. ISBN 0-375-50385-4.
The population of half-Jews in America is on its way to surpassing the population of full Jews. These authors believe that half-Jews constitute a subculture, and this book celebrates half-Jewish humor and beauty, half-Jewish writers and fictional characters. Included are an essay on half-Jewish identity and one on the history of half-Jews in the Holocaust.
Irreconcilable Differences? The Waning of the American Jewish Love Affair with Israel, by Steven T. Rosenthal. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England for Brandeis University Press, 2001. 240 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-87451-897-0.
From the birth of Israel in 1948 to the mid-1970s, American Jews and Jewish organizations were virtually unanimous in their support of the Jewish state. But by the 1990s, sharp disagreements over religious legitimacy, Palestinian political aspirations, and the peace process had reached the center of the Jewish estab lishment, which felt increasingly uninhibited in publicly airing its dissatisfaction with Israeli policies. Steven T. Rosenthal offers an examination of the nature and development of the American Jewish response to Israel.
The New Country: Stories from the Yiddish about Life in America, edited and translated by Henry Goodman. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001. 208 pp. $26.95. ISBN 0-8156-0669-9.
An abridged version of the collection originally published in 1961, the 42 stories here are written by some of the best known Jewish writers of the twentieth century, including Sholem Aleichem, Abraham Raisin, and Joseph Opotashu. They paint a sometimes hilarious, sometimes somber image of the experiences of the “greenhorn” coming to America. [End Page 167]
Pioneers, Peddlers, and Tsadikim: The Story of the Jews in Colorado, by Ida Libert Uchill. 3rd ed. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2000. 363 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-87081-593-8.
This book covers more than 140 years of Jewish life in Colorado.
Ancient World and Archaeology
Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora, by John J. Collins. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000. 327 pp. $32.00. ISBN 0-8028- 4372-7.
In his study of the intellectual and moral relationship between Judaism and Hellenistic culture, John J. Collins examines the literature of Hellenistic Judaism, treating not only the questions of date, authorship, and provenance, but also the larger question of Jewish identity in the Greco-Roman world.
Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, edited by Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 2 vols. 1132 pp. $295.00. ISBN 0-19-513796-5; 0-19-513797-3.
International scholars discuss in 450 articles the history of the scrolls, their meaning, relevance, and the controversies that have surrounded them.
An Introduction to Early Judaism, by James C. VanderKam. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001. 234 pp. $18.00 (p). ISBN 0-8028-4641-6.
James C. VanderKam, a scholar of biblical history and the Dead Sea Scrolls, here offers a new introduction to early Judaism. Based on recent archaeological research, this illustrated volume explores the history of Judaism during the Second Temple period (516 B.C.E-70 C.E.), describing the body of Jewish literature written during these centuries and the most important groups, institutions, and practices of the time.
Jewish Literacy in Roman Palestine, by Catherine Hezser. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001. 580 pp. DM 250. ISBN 3-16-147626-7.
Catherine Hezser presents a study of Jewish literacy in antiquity. She elucidates similarities and differences between the ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman use of writing and follows social-anthropological approaches to literacy, focusing on the social context and purposes of...