Jonathan Sarna explains 2012 parallels to Grant's infamous explusion of the Jews
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
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- McKinley's lost his mountain. Should we still remember his presidency?
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'
- 72 history professors sign letter urging removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Kentucky Capitol
- 10 Years After Katrina, the Enduring Value of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank
- Historian author Antony Beevor says his new World War 2 book may anger Americans