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Historians of postwar American politics often identify race as a driving force in the dynamically shifting political culture. Joshua Zeitz instead places religion and ethnicity at the fore, arguing that ethnic conflict among Irish Catholics, Italian Catholics, and Jews in New York City had a decisive impact on the shape of liberal politics long before black-white racial identity politics entered the political lexicon. Understanding ethnicity as an intersection of class, national origins, and religion, Zeitz demonstrates that the white ethnic populations of New York had significantly diverging views on authority and dissent, community and individuality, secularism and spirituality, and obligation and entitlement. New York Jews came from Eastern European traditions that valued dissent and encouraged political agitation; their Irish and Italian Catholic neighbors tended to value commitment to order, deference to authority, and allegiance to church and community. Zeitz argues that these distinctions ultimately helped fracture the liberal coalition of the Roosevelt era, as many Catholics bolted a Democratic Party increasingly focused on individual liberties, and many dissent-minded Jews moved on to the antiliberal New Left. Much of the historical literature on postwar American politics places race at the center as a driving force in the dynamically shifting political culture. Zeitz instead places religion and ethnicity at the fore, arguing that ethnic conflict among Irish Catholics, Italian Catholics, and Jews in New York City had a huge impact on the shape of liberal politics. Understanding ethnicity as an intersection of class, national origins, and religion, Zeitz demonstrates that these “white ethnics” had significantly diverging views on authority and dissent, community and individuality, secularism and spirituality, and obligation and entitlement that proved very powerful. New York Jews, he says, came from Eastern European traditions that valued dissent and encouraged political agitation; their Irish and Italian Catholic neighbors tended to value commitment to order, deference to authority, and allegiance to community. Zeitz argues that these differences ultimately fractured the liberal coalition of the Roosevelt era, as Catholics bolted a Democratic party increasingly focused on individual liberties, and the dissent-minded Jews moved on to the anti-liberal New Left. Historians of postwar American politics often identify race as a driving force in the dynamically shifting political culture. Joshua Zeitz instead places religion and ethnicity at the fore, arguing that ethnic conflict among Irish Catholics, Italian Catholics, and Jews in New York City had a huge impact on the shape of liberal politics. With significantly diverging views on authority and dissent, community and individuality, secularism and spirituality, and obligation and entitlement, the liberal coalition of the Roosevelt era fractured, as Catholics bolted a Democratic party increasingly focused on individual liberties, and the dissent-minded Jews moved on to the anti-liberal New Left. Historians of postwar American politics often identify race as a driving force in the dynamically shifting political culture. Joshua Zeitz instead places religion and ethnicity at the fore, arguing that ethnic conflict among Irish Catholics, Italian Catholics, and Jews in New York City had a decisive impact on the shape of liberal politics long before black-white racial identity politics entered the political lexicon. Understanding ethnicity as an intersection of class, national origins, and religion, Zeitz demonstrates that the white ethnic populations of New York had significantly diverging views on authority and dissent, community and individuality, secularism and spirituality, and obligation and entitlement. New York Jews came from Eastern European traditions that valued dissent and encouraged political agitation; their Irish and Italian Catholic neighbors tended to value commitment to order, deference to authority, and allegiance to church and community. Zeitz argues that these distinctions ultimately helped fracture the liberal coalition of the Roosevelt era, as many Catholics bolted a Democratic Party increasingly focused on individual liberties, and many dissent-minded Jews moved on to the antiliberal New Left.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. p. 1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 1. Communities
  2. pp. 11-38
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  1. 2. Dissent
  2. pp. 39-60
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  1. 3. Authority
  2. pp. 61-88
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  1. 4. Fascism
  2. pp. 89-113
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  1. 5. Communism
  2. pp. 114-140
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  1. 6. Race
  2. pp. 141-170
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  1. 7. Reaction
  2. pp. 171-195
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  1. 8. Upheaval
  2. pp. 196-222
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 223-228
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 229-268
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 269-278
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469602691
Related ISBN
9780807857984
MARC Record
OCLC
773036452
Pages
296
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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