Encyclopedia of American Jewish History
by Stephen H. Norwood and Eunice G. Pollack, Editors
August 2007, 775pp, 8 1/2x11
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-85109-638-1
$191, £142, 160€, A273
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-643-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Did you know that until World War I, Chicago had the third largest Jewish population of any city in the world? Did you know that Jews played leading roles in the civil rights movement? Or that Jewish men are over-represented in basketball and boxing? If you didn’t know, that’s because history books have generally ignored the American Jewish experience—until now.

Written by the most prominent scholars in American Jewish history, this encyclopedia illuminates the varied experiences of America's Jews and their impact on American society and culture over three and a half centuries.

American Jews have profoundly shaped, and been shaped by, American culture. Yet American history texts have largely ignored the Jewish experience. The Encyclopedia of American Jewish History corrects that omission.

In essays and short entries written by 125 of the world’s leading scholars of American Jewish history and culture, this encyclopedia explores both religious and secular aspects of American Jewish life. It examines the European background and immigration of American Jews and their impact on the professions and academic disciplines, mass culture and the arts, literature and theater, and labor and radical movements. It explores Zionism, antisemitism, responses to the Holocaust, the branches of Judaism, and Jews’ relations with other groups, including Christians, Muslims, and African Americans. The encyclopedia covers the Jewish press and education, Jewish organizations, and Jews’ participation in America’s wars. In two comprehensive volumes, Encyclopedia of American Jewish History makes 350 years of American Jewish experience accessible to scholars, all levels of students, and the reading public.


  • An outstanding series of maps by Sir Martin Gilbert locates places of origin, points of embarkation, sites of pogroms, Holocaust death camps, and transport routes
  • More than 125 photographs depict prominent individuals, Jewish neighborhoods, demonstrations, and rituals
Stephen H. Norwood, PhD, is professor of history and Judaic studies at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. He received his degree from Columbia University, one of the world's leading centers for Jewish studies. His published works include Strikebreaking & Intimidation, Labor's Flaming Youth, and Real Football, as well as numerous articles published in journals such as American Jewish History, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, and Modern Judaism. He is a member of the Academic Council of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and was the winner of the Herbert G. Gutman Award in American Social History and the SABR/Macmillan Award.

Eunice G. Pollack, PhD, teaches history and Jewish studies at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. She received her degree from Columbia University, one of the world's leading centers for Jewish studies. Her published works include The Childhood We Have Lost: When Siblings Were Caregivers, 1900-1970. She is a member of the Academic Council of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.


2007 Editors' Choice—Booklist, January 1, 2008


"Strongly recommended for school as well as community library Judaic Studies and American History reference collections."—Midwest Book Review, October 1, 2007

"Encyclopedia of American Jewish History provides not just reference listings but in-depth article discussions essential for any student of Judaic history, especially those seeking a solid introductory reference."—Midwest Book Review, November 1, 2007

"It belongs in all academic and large public library collections."—Booklist, December 15, 2007

"Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice, March 1, 2008

"Libraries would do well to add this compilation to their shelves to take advantage of current scholarship and the expertise of the encyclopedia's writers."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, May 1, 2008

"Academic libraries supporting courses on ethnic history and Jewish studies will be well advised to add it to their collections, as would larger public libraries where there is interest."—Against the Grain, June 1, 2008
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