The Foun­da­tions of Amer­i­can Jew­ish Liberalism

Ken­neth D. Wald

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

Amer­i­can Jews have built a polit­i­cal cul­ture based on the prin­ci­ple of equal cit­i­zen­ship in a sec­u­lar state. This durable world­view has guid­ed their polit­i­cal behav­ior from the found­ing to the present day. In The Foun­da­tions of Amer­i­can Jew­ish Lib­er­al­ism, Ken­neth D. Wald traces the devel­op­ment of this cul­ture by exam­in­ing the con­tro­ver­sies and threats that stim­u­lat­ed polit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion by Amer­i­can Jews. Wald shows that the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment, per­me­at­ed by clas­sic lib­er­al val­ues, pro­duced a Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty that dif­fers polit­i­cal­ly from non-Jews who resem­ble Jews social­ly and from Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties abroad. Draw­ing on sur­vey data and exten­sive archival research, the book exam­ines the ups and downs of Jew­ish attach­ment to lib­er­al­ism and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and the ten­sions between two dis­tinct strains of liberalism.

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