Titel: Jazz Age Jews
Autor/en: Michael Alexander
PRINCETON UNIV PR
August 2003 - kartoniert - 264 Seiten
By the 1920s, Jews were--by all economic, political, and cultural measures of the day--making it in America. Yet many deliberately identified with groups that remained excluded. The stories of Al Jolson, Felix Frankfurter, and Arnold Rothstein are told together to explore this paradox in the psychology of American Jewry. All three became heroes to the American Jewish community for their association with events that galvanized the country and defined the Jazz Age. Rothstein allegedly fixed the 1919 World Series--an accusation this book disputes. Frankfurter defended the Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti. Jolson brought jazz music to Hollywood for the first talking film, The Jazz Singer, and regularly impersonated African Americans in blackface. Each of these men represented a version of the American outsider, and American Jews celebrated them for it.
INTRODUCTION 1 INTERLUDE: JAZZ AGE ECONOMICS 11 PART I. "Biznez Iz Biznez" The Arnol Rothstein Story 13 1. Arnold Rothstein 15 2. Gambling in the Time of Rothstein's Youth 19 3. The Rise of Rothstein 28 4. Financial Crime 40 5. The Black Sox and the Jews 48 6. The Jews React 55 INTERLUDE: JAZZ AGE POLITICS 65 PART II. Frankfurter among the Anarchists "The Case of Sacco an Vanzetti" 69 7. Felix Frankfurter 71 8. The Young Progressive 76 9. Zion and Cambridge 88 10. Sacco and Vanzetti 96 11. Aftermath 119 INTERLUDE: JAZZ AGE CULTURE 127 PART III. "Mammy, Don't You Know Me?" Al Jolson an the Jews 131 12. Al Jolson 133 13. Asa Yoelson Discovers the Theater 139 14. Jewish Minstrelsy Emerges 144 15. Blackface Arrives on Broadway 150 16. The Jews on Tin Pan Alley 155 17. The Jazz Singer 167 CONCLUSION JAZZ AGE JEWS 180 NOTES 185 BIBLIOGRAPHY 215 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 227 INDEX 229
Michael Alexander is Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
Winner of the Jewish Book Award in Jewish Christian Relations, Jewish Book Council National "A fascinating study... Jazz Age Jews covers its subject without padding or pedantry... A book that takes strong, interesting positions on how the Jews made their way into mainstream America."--Sanford Pinsker, Philadelphia Inquirer "[A] deft and provocative book... [Alexander] paints a vivid portrait of popular anti-Semitism of the time... His arguments in the first two sections are dazzling... Alexander's commentary is elucidating and insightful, an important contribution to both Jewish and cultural studies."--Publishers Weekly "As [Alexander] points out, of all America's ethnic minorities, only the Jazz Age Jews seemed to care for the downtrodden in other groups... If this is revisionist history, I like it."--Michael Freedland, Jewish Chronicle "Alexander's genial and generally jargon-free book offers a provocative portrait of how Jazz Age Jews understood their Jewishness."--Lev Raphael, The Jerusalem Report "Jazz Age Jews is an accessible and informative contribution to the ongoing dialogue about American Jewish acculturation in the early part of the twentieth century."--Andrea Most, American Jewish History