Jonathan Sarna explains 2012 parallels to Grant's infamous explusion of the JewsHistorians in the News
Dr. Jonathan Sarna, Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, discusses his new book When General Grant Expelled the Jews.
...In one of the many talks you gave on this book you’ve said that “there are interesting parallels” to be made from the current political climate “to the 1868 election” - namely, that Jews who might be hesitating to vote for President Obama might be able to learn something from Grant’s transformation. What exactly did you mean?
In 1868, Jews who had supported the Republican Party since Lincoln’s first term faced a difficult conundrum. Should they vote for the Democrats, a party they considered bad for the country, just to avoid voting for a man (Grant) who had been bad to the Jews? The Democrats sought to roll back Reconstruction and disenfranchise Black voters. Should Jews vote for them anyway, just to avoid voting for a candidate who had expelled Jews from his war zone? The question of loyalties – how much should “Jewish considerations” sway Jewish voters, and how much should they vote on the basis of what they see as good for the country as a whole - was hotly debated in 1868. It seems to me that in the 2012 election, Jews will face some of these same kinds of questions.
comments powered by Disqus
- From Germany to Mexico: How America’s source of immigrants has changed over a century
- Scholars doing oral history are finally off the hook! The federal government has granted them an exemption from IRBs
- Confederate Flag Supporters Indicted Under Georgia's Anti-Gang Law
- One of King Henry V's 'great ships' likely found in England
- Georgia's Stone Mountain to be topped by MLK tribute
- Tim Naftali: declassified documents reveal a cunning and cagey president
- Call to help Moroccan historian Maâti Monjib, who has been on hunger strike since 6 October 2015
- Charles Gillispie, trailblazer in the history of science, dies at 97
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- NC student’s senior thesis selected as top paper sheds light on little-known victory over Jim Crow