Joanne Jacobson


Nancy Miller Hunts for Roots on Three Continents

By Joanne Jacobson

Nancy Miller Hunts for Roots on Three Continents
Nancy Miller’s new book is like a family detective story. She finds her roots by tracking down a set of clues far in the past, from Russia to Israel to Arizona.Read More


Jew vs. Jew in Levittown

By Joanne Jacobson

Jew vs. Jew in Levittown
Virtually since its founding on New York’s Long Island in 1948, “Levittown” has been a byword for conformity: houses, people, aspirations; a kind of origin narrative of suburban homogeneity. But David Kushner, in “Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon, and the Fight for Civil Rights in America’s Legendary Suburb,” tells a darker story that shadows that narrative — a story of difference, coming to an explosive climax of racial violence over the summer and fall of 1957 in the second of William Levitt’s meticulously planned communities. Levitt’s career-long commitment to a whites-only policy is both an ugly story and a revealing one, for it dramatically wounded the post-World War II suburban promise of a fresh start and of safety and community, and it highlighted, early on, the fragility of that promise and the complexity of Jews’ relationship to it.Read More



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