Jewish statehood was restored in 1948 amid a struggle over legitimacy that has persisted in Israel. After the United Nations declared Zionism to be “a form of racism,” Israel has confronted an escalating international assault on its legitimacy. In political, academic, media, and cultural circles it has been demonized as an “apartheid,” even “Nazi,” state that much of the world despises.
AGAINST THE GRAIN is a collection of challenging and insightful essays from a reflective American historian. Jerold Auerbach, Professor Emeritus at Wellesley (where he taught 40 years), writes in the Foreword how his academic career and his time in Israel "each in its own distinctive way converged to liberate me from my past as a non-Jewish Jew." The historian reflects back on this dilemma.
At the dawn of the Israeli state, the tragic sinking of the Israeli ship Altalena--by Israeli commandos no less--threatened to tear the new country apart, and has lessons still for its politics and peace. The first book in English on the event, and by a historian, this book tells the story, and the present profound implications, of a moment in the birth of modern Israel, with much relevance still.
A renowned historian examines the special contributions of rabbis and lawyers to American Jewish acculturation. Based on extensive research in U.S. and Israeli archives, his analysis of how lawyers displaced rabbis as community leaders in the 20th century illuminates a decisive moment in U.S Jewish history, and shows how law became deified, to the point of slighting the Holocaust and Zionism.
An acclaimed U.S. professor of history finds his roots in a personal journey through Israel--and through assimilated America, academia, baseball, and family--headlong into deep tensions about country, culture, identity and religion. Worried about the commitment of Jews to their heritage, Auerbach (renowned author of Unequal Justice) shares his story and musings with insight, irony, and intensity.