by Mark K. Bauman
foreword by Ronald H. Bayor
University of Alabama Press, 2019
Cloth: 978-0-8173-2018-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9229-1
Library of Congress Classification F220.J5B38 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 975.04924

Essays from a prolific career that challenge and overturn traditional narratives of southern Jewish history
Mark K. Bauman, one of the foremost scholars of southern Jewish history working today, has spent much of his career, as he puts it, “rewriting southern Jewish history” in ways that its earliest historians could not have envisioned or anticipated, and doing so by specifically  targeting themes and trends that might not have been readily  apparent to those scholars. A New Vision of Southern Jewish History: Studies in Institution Building, Leadership, Interaction, and Mobility features essays collected from over a forty-year career, including a never-before-published article.

The prevailing narrative in southern Jewish history tends to emphasize the role of immigrant Jews as merchants in small southern towns and their subsequent struggles and successes in making a place for themselves in the fabric of those communities. Bauman offers assessments that go far beyond these simplified frameworks and draws upon varieties of subject matter, time periods, locations, tools, and perspectives over three decades of writing and scholarship.

A New Vision of Southern Jewish History contains Bauman’s studies of Jewish urbanization, acculturation and migration, intra- and inter-group relations, economics and business, government, civic affairs, transnational diplomacy, social services, and gender—all complicating traditional notions of southern Jewish identity. Drawing on role theory as informed by sociology, psychology, demographics, and the nature and dynamics of leadership, Bauman traverses a broad swath—often urban—of the southern landscape, from Savannah, Charleston, and Baltimore through Atlanta, New Orleans, Galveston, and beyond the country to Europe and Israel.

Bauman’s retrospective volume gives readers the opportunity to review a lifetime of work in a single publication as well as peruse newly penned introductions to his essays. The book also features an “Additional Readings” section designed to update the historiography in the essays.

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