By Dawn's Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War

By Dawn's Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War

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By Dawn's Early Light: Jewish Contributions to American Culture from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War by Leonard L. Milberg is the catalogue for the eponymous exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum in 2016. 

This 352-page catalogue, with 13 scholarly essays, discusses how Jews began to speak publicly the colonial period. At the dawn of the Republic, they were new to American public life. Yet as the United  States started its grand experiment with liberty, and began to invent a culture of its own. Jews, too, began a grand experiment of living as  equals. In a society that promised exceptional freedom, this was both liberating and confounding. As individuals, they were free to  participate as full citizens in the hurly-burly of the new nation’s  political and social life. But as members of a group that sought to  remain distinctive, freedom was daunting. In response to the challenges  of liberty, Jews adopted and adapted American and Jewish artistic idioms  to express themselves in new ways as Americans and as Jews. In the  process, they invented American Jewish culture, and contributed to the  flowering of American culture during the earliest days of the Republic. 

The exhibition, organized by the Princeton University Library, featured more than 160 books, maps, manuscripts, prints, and paintings, including  some of the earliest novels, plays, scientific treatises, and religious  works produced by Jews in the United States.    

  • Paperback
  • 75 full-color illustrations  

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