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Is Social Democracy Un-American?

THE NEW DEAL AND THE GREAT SOCIETY IN RETROSPECT by Marc Jampole from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics, by Jefferson Cowie. Princeton University Press, 2016, 438 pages. HISTORIAN JEFFERSON Cowie’s The Great Exception: The New Deal and […]

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July 29: Robert Moses

Robert Moses, the controversial and powerful city planner who transformed New York City in the mid-20th century, died at 92 on this date in 1981. Moses brought the United Nations headquarters to New York, built the campuses that hosted the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, oversaw the building of the Triborough, Throgs Neck, Whitestone, Henry […]

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Thar’s Goldberg in Them Thar Hills!

A History of America’s Most Influential Mountains by Mikhail Horowitz From the Spring 2016 issue of Jewish Currents Discussed in this essay: The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America, by Stephen M. Silverman and Raphael D. Silver. Alfred A. Knopf, 2015, 448 pages. BACK IN THE HALCYON DAYS of my arrested adolescence, I […]

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August 17: A Letter to the President, 1790

Moses Seixas, the “warden” of the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, wrote a letter to President George Washington on this date in 1790. “Permit the children of the stock of Abraham to approach you with the most cordial affection and esteem for your person and merits — and to join with our fellow citizens […]

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July 1: Robert Fogel and the Economics of Slavery

Robert Fogel, a former communist organizer who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1926. Fogel spent most of his academic career at the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, and Harvard, and made his reputation studying railroads and slavery in relation to the American economy, […]

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March 2: Jews and the Slave Trade

Congress abolished the slave trade on this date in 1807. According to Eli Faber’s 1998 book, Jews and the Slave Trade: Setting the Record Straight, the fact that “Jews participated in the slave trade, sometimes by investing in companies engaged in it, sometimes as the owners of slave ships… are matters that have long been […]

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September 1: The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell, forged in London and engraved with words from Leviticus 25: 10 — “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” — arrived in Philadelphia on this date in 1752. The bell cracked at its first ringing and was twice repaired before acquiring its famous large crack in the early […]

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