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Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement

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Synopses & Reviews

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"Contributes[s] interesting new dimensions to the literature on Jews and blacks in the United States."

The Journal of American History

"A fascinating text which adds to our understanding of recent Jewish Left and feminist politics and activism"

—Australian Jewish News, Aug. 2001

"Blending together 15 oral histories and archival research, Schultz shows how northern Jewish women's commitment to social justice - informed in part by living in the shadow of the Holocaust - played out in a time of enormous political, social, and personal upheaval...Sharply observant of her informants' lives, Schultz opens a new window not only into the civil rights movement but also into the sociology of mid-century Jewish-American culture. Her analysis is most impressive at the book's end, when she perceptively describes the protean nature of Jewish identities in the U.S. Such insightful cultural readings and criticism make this a fine contribution to both the literature of the civil rights movement and the field of Jewish studies."

--Publishers Weekly

"Schultz's book makes a substantial contribution to feminist scholarship, but in the end it is also a call to renewed action - to never forget the sacrifices of previous generations."

The Journal of Southern History

"A well-written, serious, and important book. I learned a great deal from this interesting and rich study."

--Joyce Antler, author of The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America

"Going South is a heartfelt plea for incorporating women's activism into social movement history."

—Linn Shapiro, American Jewish History

"Going South is a remarkable book, reflecting the experiences of fifteen women who joined the 1960s civil rights movement showing how and why they got there, what role, if any religion played in their lives, and what happened to them afterwards."

Journal of American Studies

"The strength of the book is that it is based on interviews; the reader is introduced to each women, her family, the work she performed in the South, the people she met and the difficulties she overcame while there."—Jewish Observer

Many people today know that the 1964 murder in Mississippi of two Jewish men--Mickey Schwerner and Andrew Goodman--and their Black colleague, James Chaney, marked one of the most wrenching episodes of the civil rights movement. Yet very few realize that Andrew Goodman had been in Mississippi for one day when he was killed; Rita Schwerner, Mickey's wife, had been organizing in Mississippi for six difficult months.

Organized around a rich blend of oral histories, Going South followsa group of Jewish women--come of age in the shadow of the Holocaust and deeply committed to social justice--who put their bodies and lives on the line to fight racism. Actively rejecting the post-war idyll of suburban, Jewish, middle-class life, these women were deeply influenced by Jewish notions of morality and social justice. Many thus perceived the call of the movement as positively irresistible.

Representing a link between the sensibilities of the early civil rights era and contemporary efforts to move beyond the limits of identity politics, the book provides a resource for all who are interested in anti-racism, the civil rights movement, social justice, Jewish activism and radical women's traditions.

Book News Annotation:

Follows a group of Jewish women, who came of age in the shadow of the Holocaust, and who put their lives on the line to fight racism in the United States. Explains the inspiration that spurred them to actively reject the post-war idyll of suburban, Jewish, middle class life, including the influences of Jewish notions of morality and social justice and, perhaps more strongly, the first-hand knowledge of fascism in Europe. Schultz (director, Programs of the Open Society Institute Women's Program) built heavily on interviews and has included many period and current photographs of the women she profiles.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

An inspiring Civil Rights history of a generation of Jewish women, deeply influenced by morality and social justice, who put their bodies and lives on the line to fight racism.

Synopsis:

In recent years, Peter N. Stearns has established himself as the foremost historian of American emotional life. In books on anger, jealousy, "coolness," and body image, he has mapped out the basic terrain of the American psyche.

Now Stearns crowns his work of the past decade with this powerful volume, in which he reveals the fundamental dichotomy at the heart of the national character: a self-indulgent hedonism and the famed American informality on the one hand, and a deeply imbedded repressiveness on the other.

Whether hunting and gathering tribe or complex industrial civilization, every social group is governed by explicit and implicit guidelines on how to behave. But these definitions vary widely. The Japanese worry less about public drunkenness than Americans. Northern Europeans adhere to stricter standards than Americans when it comes to littering. Today, we swear more now and spit less, discuss sex more and death less.

With an emphasis on sex, culture, and discipline of the body, Stearns traces how particular anxieties take root, and how they express inherent tension in contemporary standards and a stubborn nostalgia for the previous nineteenth century regime.

Battleground of Desire explodes common wisdom about Americans in the twentieth century as normless and tolerant, emphasizing that most of us follow a litany of rules, governing everything from adultery to bad breath.

Synopsis:

Many people today know that the 1964 murder in Mississippi of two Jewish men--Mickey Schwerner and Andrew Goodman--and their Black colleague, James Chaney, marked one of the most wrenching episodes of the civil rights movement. Yet very few realize that Andrew Goodman had been in Mississippi for one day when he was killed; Rita Schwerner, Mickey's wife, had been organizing in Mississippi for six difficult months.

Organized around a rich blend of oral histories, Going South followsa group of Jewish women--come of age in the shadow of the Holocaust and deeply committed to social justice--who put their bodies and lives on the line to fight racism. Actively rejecting the post-war idyll of suburban, Jewish, middle-class life, these women were deeply influenced by Jewish notions of morality and social justice. Many thus perceived the call of the movement as positively irresistible.

Representing a link between the sensibilities of the early civil rights era and contemporary efforts to move beyond the limits of identity politics, the book provides a resource for all who are interested in anti-racism, the civil rights movement, social justice, Jewish activism and radical women's traditions.

About the Author

Debra L. Schultz, a feminist historian, is Director of Programs of The Open Society Institute (Soros Foundations) Network Women's Program, which works to include women in the development of more democratic societies.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780814797747
Foreword:
Cook, Blanche Weisen
Publisher:
New York University Press
Foreword by:
Cook, Blanche Weisen
Foreword:
Cook, Blanche Weisen
Author:
Wiesen Cook, Blanche
Author:
Schultz, Debra L.
Author:
Schultz, Debra
Author:
Stearns, Peter
Author:
Cook, Blanche Wiesen
Location:
New York
Subject:
History
Subject:
Afro-americans
Subject:
Civil Rights
Subject:
Jewish
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Women's Studies - History
Subject:
Southern states
Subject:
Jewish women
Subject:
Oral history
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
Civil rights movements
Subject:
Women civil rights workers
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Civil Rights
Subject:
Jewish - General
Subject:
CIVIL RIGHTS_UNITED STATES
Subject:
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS_UNITED STATES
Subject:
Racism
Subject:
Women
Subject:
s Studies
Subject:
JEWISH STUDIES_USA_POSTWAR PERIOD, 1945 TO c2000
Subject:
S STUDIES_USA_POSTWAR PERIOD, 1945 TO c2000
Subject:
CIVIL RIGHTS AND CITIZENSHIP_USA_POSTWAR PERIOD, 1945 TO c2000
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Jewish women -- United States.
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Religion Western-Jewish History
Subject:
Sociology - General
Series Volume:
105-443
Publication Date:
20010331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
248
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Jewish History

Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement New Hardcover
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Product details 248 pages New York University Press - English 9780814797747 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An inspiring Civil Rights history of a generation of Jewish women, deeply influenced by morality and social justice, who put their bodies and lives on the line to fight racism.
"Synopsis" by , In recent years, Peter N. Stearns has established himself as the foremost historian of American emotional life. In books on anger, jealousy, "coolness," and body image, he has mapped out the basic terrain of the American psyche.

Now Stearns crowns his work of the past decade with this powerful volume, in which he reveals the fundamental dichotomy at the heart of the national character: a self-indulgent hedonism and the famed American informality on the one hand, and a deeply imbedded repressiveness on the other.

Whether hunting and gathering tribe or complex industrial civilization, every social group is governed by explicit and implicit guidelines on how to behave. But these definitions vary widely. The Japanese worry less about public drunkenness than Americans. Northern Europeans adhere to stricter standards than Americans when it comes to littering. Today, we swear more now and spit less, discuss sex more and death less.

With an emphasis on sex, culture, and discipline of the body, Stearns traces how particular anxieties take root, and how they express inherent tension in contemporary standards and a stubborn nostalgia for the previous nineteenth century regime.

Battleground of Desire explodes common wisdom about Americans in the twentieth century as normless and tolerant, emphasizing that most of us follow a litany of rules, governing everything from adultery to bad breath.

"Synopsis" by , Many people today know that the 1964 murder in Mississippi of two Jewish men--Mickey Schwerner and Andrew Goodman--and their Black colleague, James Chaney, marked one of the most wrenching episodes of the civil rights movement. Yet very few realize that Andrew Goodman had been in Mississippi for one day when he was killed; Rita Schwerner, Mickey's wife, had been organizing in Mississippi for six difficult months.

Organized around a rich blend of oral histories, Going South followsa group of Jewish women--come of age in the shadow of the Holocaust and deeply committed to social justice--who put their bodies and lives on the line to fight racism. Actively rejecting the post-war idyll of suburban, Jewish, middle-class life, these women were deeply influenced by Jewish notions of morality and social justice. Many thus perceived the call of the movement as positively irresistible.

Representing a link between the sensibilities of the early civil rights era and contemporary efforts to move beyond the limits of identity politics, the book provides a resource for all who are interested in anti-racism, the civil rights movement, social justice, Jewish activism and radical women's traditions.

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