Uptown/Downtown: The Settlement Movement and Jewish Immigrants

This paper tells the story of a colonial encounter. Between 1880 and 1915, some 3 million East European Jews migrated to the United States, fleeing from the violent pogroms and repressive policies of Czarist Russia under Alexander III. For these immigrants, America represented an uneasy mixture of di goldene medine (the Golden Land) and di treyfe medine (the Non-kosher Land), a country in which freedom of religion was a guaranteed right, if not always a practiced one. Already poor in the Old Country, for the most part they arrived in America penniless and made their new homes in the growing tenements of America�s major cities–Chicago, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, and especially New York City, where over one-and-a-half million Jews settled over those 35 years. [Continue reading]

Notes on Whorfian Relativity

The study or linguistics over the last century, as in the social sciences in general, has been characterized by a departure from the historical comparative method dominant in the 1800s. Modern students of language left behind the strongly evolutionist search for origins and took up the investigation of language as a working system and its implications for humans who use language in society. The foundation for such synchronic investigation was laid by Ferdinand de Saussure, from whom all following investigations have either developed or departed (or both). [Continue reading]

Franz Boas and the Rise of Modern Culture

Originally published in three parts in 2000 at Suite 101 when I was the editor of their Jewish-American History section. That section disappeared in a subsequent re-design of the site. This is a compilation of those pieces, edited to improve the flow as a single essay. [Continue reading]

Book Chapter: The God Gene

2006. “God Gene”. In Encyclopedia of Anthropology. H. James Birx, ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Pp. 1093-4.

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Book Review: Sex and Pleasure in Western Culture

2007. “Book Review: Sex and Pleasure in Western Culture”. Archives of Sexual Behavior 36(3): 471 – 472.

This is my self-archive version of this article. It is available online to those with access to the SpringerLink service, and be in print with the release of the July issue.

BOOK REVIEW: Sex and Pleasure in Western Culture

By Gail Hawkes, Polity Press, Cambridge, England, 2004, 207 pp., £50.00 (hardback); £15.99 (paperback).

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Senator Kerrey and the War That Still Haunts Us

This piece was part of a round-table discussion I put together when I was a Web Editor at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. The rest of the discussion can be found at the site. [Continue reading]

“Brother, Friend, Comrade”: The Workman’s Circle and Jewish Culture, 1900-1930

Essay written by: Dustin M. Wax

We believe that misdeeds, injustice, falsehood, and murder will not reign forever, and a bright day will come when the sun will appear. We believe there is hope for mankind; the peoples of the world will not destroy each other for a piece of land, and blood will not be shed for silly prestige. We believe men will not die of hunger, and wealth not created by its own labor will disappear like smoke. [Continue reading]