Price of Whiteness Jews, Race, and American Identity

ISBN-10: 0691136319

ISBN-13: 9780691136318

Edition: 2006

Authors: Eric L. Goldstein

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What has it meant to be Jewish in a nation preoccupied with the categories of black and white?The Price of Whitenessdocuments the uneasy place Jews have held in America's racial culture since the late nineteenth century. The book traces Jews' often tumultuous encounter with race from the 1870s through World War II, when they became vested as part of America's white mainstream and abandoned the practice of describing themselves in racial terms. American Jewish history is often told as a story of quick and successful adaptation, but Goldstein demonstrates how the process of identifying as white Americans was an ambivalent one, filled with hard choices and conflicting emotions for Jewish immigrants and their children. Jews enjoyed a much greater level of social inclusion than African Americans, but their membership in white America was frequently made contingent on their conformity to prevailing racial mores and on the eradication of their perceived racial distinctiveness. While Jews consistently sought acceptance as whites, their tendency to express their own group bonds through the language of "race" led to deep misgivings about what was required of them. Today, despite the great success Jews enjoy in the United States, they still struggle with the constraints of America's black-white dichotomy.The Price of Whitenessconcludes that while Jews' status as white has opened many doors for them, it has also placed limits on their ability to assert themselves as a group apart.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 1/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

List of Figures
The Jewish "Race" in America, 1875-1895
"Different Blood Flows in Our Veins": Race and Jewish Self-Definition in Late-Nineteenth-Century America
Jews in Black and White, 1896-1918
The Unstable Other: Locating Jews in Progressive Era American Racial Discourse
"Now Is the Time to Show Your True Colors": The Jewish Approach to African Americans
"What Are We?": Jewishness between Race and Religion
Confronting Jewish Difference, 1919-1935
Race and the "Jewish Problem" in Interwar America
"A White Race of Another Kind"?
Wrestling with Racial Jewishness
From Old Challenges to New, 1936-1950
World War II and the Transformation of Jewish Racial Identity
Epilogue: Jews, Whiteness, and "Tribalism" in Multicultural America
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