Cover: Jews and the New American Scene, from Harvard University PressCover: Jews and the New American Scene in E-DITION

Jews and the New American Scene

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E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674424449

Publication Date: 03/23/1995

239 pages

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Will American Jews survive their success? Or will the United States’ uniquely hospitable environment lead inexorably to their assimilation and loss of cultural identity? This is the conundrum that Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab explore in their wise and learned book about the American Jewish experience.

Jews, perhaps more than any ethnic or religious minority that has immigrated to these shores, have benefited from the country’s openness, egalitarianism, and social heterogeneity. This unusually good fit, the authors argue, has as much to do with the exceptionalism of the Jewish people as with that of America. But acceptance for all ancestral groups has its downside: integration into the mainstream erodes their defining features, diluting the loyalties that sustain their members.

The authors vividly illustrate this paradox as it is experienced by American Jews today—in their high rates of intermarriage, their waning observance of religious rites, their extraordinary academic and professional success, their commitment to liberalism in domestic politics, and their steadfast defense of Israel. Yet Jews view these trends with a sense of foreboding: “We feel very comfortable in America—but anti-Semitism is a serious problem”; “We would be desolate if Israel were lost—but we don’t feel as close to that country as we used to”; “More of our youth are seeking some serious form of Jewish affirmation and involvement—but more of them are slipping away from Jewish life.” These are the contradictions tormenting American Jews as they struggle anew with the never-dying problem of Jewish continuity.

A graceful and immensely readable work, Jews and the New American Scene provides a remarkable range of scholarship, anecdote, and statistical research—the clearest, most up-to-date account available of the dilemma facing American Jews in their third century of citizenship.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene