New PDF release: A Primer on the American Jewish Community 3rd Ed.

By Jerome A. Chanes.

ISBN-10: 9990833036

ISBN-13: 9789990833034

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18 Socialism was not a substitute religion but it did derive its energy from an ethical absolute, not from sociopolitical pragmatism.  Could it be that pacifism was inappropriate not only practically but, more important, inappropriate theoretically? 22 Greenberg admired, above all, Gandhi's effort to effectuate change through ahimsa (nonviolence) and satyagraha ("soul­force"): a deliberate refusal to cooperate with the Raj so as to force a confrontation with British imperialism while, at the same time, using only morally pure means to oppose injustice.

No, because he had a deep appreciation of the spiritual dimension of human existence that subsists under the veneer of militant secularism.  Even though the road to complete assimilation in America would be an off­again, on­again process, it would eventually take place unless there was a true spiritual awakening along the way.  He did not spell out fully what he meant, but Marie Syrkin observed that Greenberg was not someone whose written words exceed the individual's personal depth: Whatever field he touched on, the said was not his all, carefully garnered and given; the unsaid was even more—a deep reservoir from which he brilliantly and unexpectedly drew.

22 If we add to their impressive record that of the "other" New York Jewish Intellectuals, we come closer to writing the story of what may be seen as the most vigorous and fascinating period in American Jewish history.  See especially Alexander Bloom, Prodigal Sons: The New York Intellectuals and Their World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986); Terry Cooney, The Rise of the New York Intellectuals: Partisan Review and Its Circle 1934–35 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986); Russell Jacoby, The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe (New York: Noonday Press, 1987); Alan Wald, The Rise and Fall of the New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti­Stalinist Left from the 1930's to the 1980's (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987); American Jewish History 80 (Spring 1991).

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A Primer on the American Jewish Community 3rd Ed. by Jerome A. Chanes.


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