Dr. Jonathan Sarna’s newest book, “When General Grant Expelled the Jews,” is now available. His blog posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
“You are working on what?” most of the people I met in Jerusalem asked while I was writing “When General Grant Expelled the Jews.” Jerusalem is not where scholars generally go to write a book on the Civil War, even if it involves Jews. The majority of Israelis, in fact, know nothing about Ulysses S. Grant (one of them asked me how he felt about Israel and the Jewish settlements on the West Bank). Still, my wife and I consider Jerusalem our second home; my wife’s research can best be done in Israel’s National Library; and the Mandel Foundation offered me a senior fellowship during my sabbatical. So it was that I found myself writing “When General Grant Expelled the Jews” in Jerusalem, even as my thoughts centered on such Civil War sites as Holly Springs, Mississippi and Paducah, Kentucky.