Inventing America's "Worst" Family
Eugenics, Islam, and the Fall and Rise of the Tribe of Ishmael
By (author) Nathaniel Deutsch
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Inventing America's Worst Family by Nathaniel Deutsch
Book DescriptionThis book tells the stranger-than-fiction story of how a poor white family from Indiana was scapegoated into prominence as America's 'worst' family by the eugenics movement in the early twentieth century, then 'reinvented' in the 1970s as part of a vanguard of social rebellion. In what becomes a profoundly unsettling counter-history of the United States, Nathaniel Deutsch traces how the Ishmaels, whose patriarch fought in the Revolutionary War, were discovered in the slums of Indianapolis in the 1870s and became a symbol for all that was wrong with the urban poor. The Ishmaels, actually white Christians, were later celebrated in the 1970s as the founders of the country's first African American Muslim community. This bizarre and fascinating saga reveals how class, race, religion, and science have shaped the nation's history and myths.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520255241
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 16-Dec-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Nathaniel Deutsch
Jewish Dark Continent, Hardback (November 2011)
The Jews of the Pale of Settlement created a distinctive way of life little known beyond its borders. Just before World War I, a socialist revolutionary named An-sky and his team collected jokes, recorded songs, took thousands of photographs, and created a revealing questionnaire in Yiddish, translated here in its entirety for the first time.
Maiden of Ludmir, Hardback (September 2003)
Hannah Rochel Verbermacher, a Hasidic holy woman known as the Maiden of Ludmir, was born in early-nineteenth-century Russia and became famous as the only woman in the three-hundred-year history of Hasidism to function as a rebbe in her own right. This title follows the traces left by the Maiden in both history and legend.
Black Zion, Paperback (January 2000)» View all books by Nathaniel Deutsch
This is an exploration of the interaction between African American religions and Jewish traditions, beliefs, and spaces. The collection's argument is that religion is the missing piece of the cultural jigsaw, and black-Jewish relations need the religious roots of their problem illuminated.
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Author Biography - Nathaniel Deutsch
Nathaniel Deutsch, Professor of Literature and History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is author of The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World (UC Press), among other books.
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