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Date: 2018
  • Working detroit: the making of a union town

    Babson recounts Detroit's odyssey from a bulwark of the "open shop" to the nation's foremost "union town." Through words and pictures, Working Detroit documents the events in the city's ongoing struggle to build an industrial society that is both prosperous and humane.

    Babson begins his account in 1848 when Detroit has just entered the industrial era. He weaves the broader historical realties, such as Red Scare, World War, and economic depression into his account, tracing the ebb and flow …

  • Uppermost Canada: the Western District and the Detroit frontier, 1800-1850

    The publication of this volume in a freely accessible digital format has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation through their Humanities Open Book Program.

  • Jewish immigrant associations and American identity in New York, 1880-1939

    Landsmanshaftn, associations of immigrants from the same hometown, became the most popular form of organization among Eastern European Jewish immigrants to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jewish Immigrant Associations and American Identity in New York, 1880–1939, by Daniel Soyer, holds an in-depth discussion on the importance of these hometown societies that provided members with valuable material benefits and served as arenas for formal and informal social interacti…

  • Songquest: the journals of Great Lakes folklorist Ivan H. Walton

    Ivan H. Walton was a pioneering folklorist who collected the songs and stories of aging sailors living along the shores of the Great Lakes in the 1930s. His collection is unique in the annals of Great Lakes folklore. It began as a search for songs but broadened into a collection of weather signs, shipboard beliefs, greenhorn tales, and stories of the intense rivalry between sailors and the steamboat men who replaced them. Edited by Joe Grimm, Songquest: The Journals of Great Lakes Folklorist Iva…

  • Prayer & community: the havurah in American Judaism

    Riv-Ellen Prell spent eighteen months of participant observation field research studying a countercultural havurah to determine why these groups emerged in the United States during the 1970s. In her book, she explores the central questions posed by the early havurot and their founders. She also examines the havurah as a development of American Judaism, continuing—rather than rejecting—many of the previous generations' ideas about religion. Combining history and ethnography, Prell uses current th…

  • From Sofia to Jaffa: the Jews of Bulgaria and Israel

    Within two years of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, an astounding 45,000 of Bulgaria’s 50,000 Jews left voluntarily for Israel. This mass exodus was remarkable considering that Bulgaria was the only Axis power to prevent the deportation of its Jews to the death camps during World War II.
    After their arrival in Israel, the Jews of Bulgaria were recognized as a model immigrant group in a fledgling state attempting to absorb hundreds of thousands of newcomers from more than eig…

  • Jewish agricultural utopias in America, 1880-1910

    Brook Farm, Oneida, Amana, and Nauvoo are familiar names in American history. Far less familiar are New Odessa, Bethlehem-Jehudah, Cotopaxi, and Alliance—the Brook Farms and Oneidas of the Jewish people in North America.

    The wealthy, westernized leaders of late nineteenth-century American Jewry and a member of the immigrating Russian Jews shared an eagerness to "repeal" the lengthy socioeconomic history in which European Jews were confined to petty commerce and denied agricultural experience…

  • Jewish Moroccan folk narratives from Israel

    Jewish Moroccan Folk Narratives focuses on two central elements: textual research to examine the aesthetic qualities of the narrative, their division into genres, the various versions and their parallels, and acculturation in Israel, as well as contextual research to examine the performance art of the narrator and the role of the narrative as a communicative process in the narrating society. The collection includes twenty-one narratives by twelve storytellers; an account of the narrators' lives …

  • Harry Bertoia: sculptor

    Harry Bertoia, Sculptor is devoted to the life and work of a twentieth-century Italian-born American artist whose important commissions are located in twenty-five American cities from New York to Seattle and from Minneapolis to Miami. It traces the development of Bertoia’s versatile career from his youth in Detroit, beginning with drawings, paintings, and monoprints, then jewelry and furniture designs, to his abstract sculptures in metals, many of architectural proportions.

    The book include…

  • Nazism, the Jews, and American Zionism, 1933-1948

    Aaron Berman takes a moderate and measured approach to one of the most emotional issues in American Jewish historiography, namely, the response of American Jews to Nazism and the extermination of European Jewry.In remarkably large numbers, American Jews joined the Zionist crusade to create a Jewish state that would finally end the problem of Jewish homelessness, which they believed was the basic cause not only of the Holocaust but of all anti-Semitism. Though American Zionists could justly claim…

  • For our soul: Ethiopian Jews in Israel

    Between 1977 and 1992, practically all Ethiopian Jews migrated to Israel. This mass move followed the 1974 revolution in Ethiopia and its ensuing economic and political upheavals, compounded by the brutality of the military regime and the willingness—after years of refusal—of the Israeli government to receive them as bona fide Jews entitled to immigrate to that country. As the sole Jewish community from sub-Sahara Africa in Israel, the Ethiopian Jews have met with unique difficulties. Based on f…

  • Tradition and politics: the religious parties of Israel

    Tradition and Politics is acomprehensive study of the religious parties of Israel. Gary S. Schiff traces the religious parties of the modern state of Israel from their origins in Europe early in the twentieth century to, in response and reaction to the rise of Zionism, their transplantation to Palestine, their adaptation to the new realities, their participation in the quazi-government of the Jewish community under the British mandate, and their unfolding roles after independence. Schiff examin…

  • Jewish Poland: legends of origin : ethnopoetics and legendary chronicles

    The first appearance of Jews in Poland and their adventures during their early years of settlement in the country are concealed in undocumented shadows of history. What survived are legends of origin that early chroniclers, historians, writers, and folklore scholars transcribed, thus contributing to their preservation. According to the legendary chronicles Jews resided in Poland for a millennium and developed a vibrant community.

    Haya Bar-Itzhak examines the legends of origin of the Jews of…

  • Toast of the town: the life and times of Sunnie Wilson

    As part of the great migration of southern blacks to the north, Sunnie Wilson came to Detroit from South Carolina after graduating from college, and soon became a pillar of the local music industry. He started out as a song and dance performer but found his niche as a local promoter of boxing, which allowed him to make friends and business connections quickly in the thriving industrial city of Detroit. Part oral history, memoir, and biography, Toast of the Town draws from hundreds of hours of ta…

  • In fitting memory: the art and politics of Holocaust memorials

    In Fitting Memory, a critical survey of Holocaust memorials and monuments in Europe, Israel, and the United States, focuses on the archeological remains at the original sites of Nazi terror that constituted the first postwar memorials. The Holocaust is defined here as the collective designation for the Nazi mass murder of Jews, Gypsies, and the handicapped, and for the related persecution of Soviet prisoners of war and other ideological opponents. Featuring text and photographs, the book shows h…

  • Maurice Sugar: law, labor, and the left in Detroit, 1912-1950

    It was Maurice Sugar, labor activist and lawyer for the United Auto Workers, who played a key role in guiding the newly-formed union through the treacherous legal terrain obstructing its development in the 1930s. He orchestrated the injunction hearings on the Dodge Main strike and defended the legality of the sit-down tactic. As the UAW's General Council, he wrote the union's constitution in 1939, a model of democratic thinking. Sugar worked with George Addes, UAW Secretary-Treasurer, to nurture…

  • On Jewish folklore

    On Jewish Folklore spans a half-century of scholarly inquiry by the noted anthropologist and biblical scholar Raphael Patai. He essays collected in this volume, some of which are presented for the first time in English translation, provide a rich harvest of Jewish customs and traditional beliefs, gathered from all over the world and from ancient to modern times.

    Among the subjects Dr. Patai investigated and recorded are the history and oral traditions of the now-vanished Marrano community of …

  • Seasons of grace: a history of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

    Seasons of Grace is a history of the Catholic Church and community in southern lower Michigan from the 1830s through the 1950s. More than a chronicle of clerical successions and institutional expansion, the book also examines those social and cultural influences that affected the development of the Catholic community.


    To document the course of institutional growth in the diocese, Tentler devotes a portion of the book to tracing the evolution of administrative structures at the Chancery a…

  • From new Zion to old Zion: American Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine, 1917-1939

    American Aliyah (immigration to Palestine) began in the mid-nineteenth century fueled by the desire of American Jews to study Torah and by their wish to live and be buried in the Holy Land. His movement of people-men and women-increased between World War I and II, in direct contrast to European Jewry’s desire to immigrate to the United States. Why would American Jews want to leave America, and what characterized their resettlement? From New Zion to Old Zion analyzes the migration of American Jew…

  • Going Greek: Jewish college fraternities in the United States, 1895-1945

    Going Greek offers an unprecedented look at the relationship between American Jewish students and fraternity life during its heyday in the first half of the twentieth century. More than secret social clubs, fraternities and sororities profoundly shaped the lives of members long after they left college—often dictating choices in marriage as well as business alliances. Widely viewed as a key to success, membership in these self-governing, sectarian organizations was desirable but not easily access…