The increasingly popular genre of “alternative histories” has captivated audiences by asking questions like “what if the South had won the Civil War?” Such speculation can be instructive, heighten our interest in a topic, and shed light on accepted history. In The Holocaust Averted, Jeffrey Gurock imagines what might have happened to the Jewish community in the United States if the Holocaust had never occurred and forces readers to contemplate how the road to acceptance and empowerment for today’s American Jews could have been harder than it actually was.
Based on reasonable alternatives grounded in what is known of the time, places, and participants, Gurock presents a concise narrative of his imagined war-time saga and the events that followed Hitler’s military failures. While German Jews did suffer under Nazism, the millions of Jews in Eastern Europe survived and were able to maintain their communities. Since few people were concerned with the safety of European Jews, Zionism never became popular in the United States and social antisemitism kept Jews on the margins of society. By the late 1960s, American Jewish communities were far from vibrant. This alternate history—where, among many scenarios, Hitler is assassinated, Japan does not bomb Pearl Harbor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is succeeded after two terms by Robert A. Taft—does cause us to review and better appreciate history. As Gurock tells his tale, he concludes every chapter with a short section that describes what actually happened and, thus, further educates the reader.
|Publisher:||Rutgers University Press|
|Edition description:||First Paperback Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
JEFFREY S. GUROCK is the Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University. His most recent work, Jews in Gotham: New York Jews in a Changing City, won the 2012 Jewish Book of the Year award from the Jewish Book Council.
Table of Contents
Prologue Ghosts in the Restored Jewish Quarter in Krakow, Poland: An Entrance into Alternate Jewish History
Chapter 1 A World at War, 1938
Chapter 2 American Jewry in the Late 1930s: A Respite for an Insecure Community
Chapter 3 Conflicting Challenges for an America at Peace, 1938–1944
Chapter 4 Without the “Boss”: American Jewry’s Concerns, 1940–1944
Chapter 5 The Eastern European Threat and an End to U.S. Isolationism, 1944–1945
Chapter 6 Divided Allegiances: American Jews and Israel, 1944–1950
Chapter 7 Suburban Jewish Cul de Sacs, 1950–1960
Chapter 8 The 1960s and the Trials of Acceptance for American Jews
Chapter 9 Unending Dilemmas: Israelis, Arabs, the World Powers, and American Jews
Conclusion Alternate History and the Realities of American Jewish Life