New in our Jews and Judaism: History and Culture series!

In 1966, a young rabbinical student named P. Allen Krause conducted interviews with twelve Reform rabbis from southern congregations concerning their thoughts, principles, and activities as they related to the civil rights movement. Perhaps because he was a young seminary student or more likely because the interviewees were promised an embargo of twenty-five years before the interviews would be released to the public, the rabbis were extremely candid about their opinions on and their own involvement with what was still an incendiary subject. Now, in To Stand Aside or Stand Alone: Southern Reform Rabbis and the Civil Rights Movement, their stories help elucidate a pivotal moment in time.

After a distinguished rabbinical career, Krause wrote introductions to and annotated the interviews. When Krause succumbed to cancer in 2012, Mark K. Bauman edited the manuscripts further and wrote additional introductions with the assistance of Stephen Krause, the rabbi’s son. The result is a unique volume offering insights into these rabbis’ perceptions and roles in their own words and with more depth and nuance than hitherto available. This exploration into the lives of these teachers and civic leaders is supported by important contextual information on the local communities and other rabbis, with such background information forming the basis of a demographic profile of the Reform rabbis working in the South.

The twelve rabbis whom Krause interviewed served in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, and the substance and scope of their discussions cover some of the most crucial periods in the civil rights movement. Although some have provided accounts that appeared elsewhere or have written about their experiences themselves, several new voices appear here, suggesting that more southern rabbis were active than previously thought. These men functioned within a harsh environment: rabbis’ homes, synagogues, and Jewish community centers were bombed; one rabbi, who had been beaten and threatened, carried a pistol to protect himself and his family. The views and actions of these men followed a spectrum from gradualism to activism; while several of the rabbis opposed the evils of the separate and unequal system, others made peace with it or found reasons to justify inaction. Additionally, the southern rabbis differed from their activist colleagues in the North even more than from each other in approach.

Within these pages, readers learn about the attitudes of the rabbis toward each other, toward their congregants, toward national Jewish organizations, and toward local leaders of black and white and Protestant and Catholic groups. Theirs are dramatic stories of frustration, cooperation, and conflict.

P. Allen Krause
(1939-2012), a congregational rabbi for over forty years, devoted his rabbinate to issues of human rights, social justice, and interfaith understanding. Rabbi Krause graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 1961 and engaged in doctoral work in American history at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded a doctorate of divinity from the Hebrew Union College in 1993 and was named the Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University in 2005.

Mark K. Bauman is a retired professor of history from Atlanta Metropolitan College. He is the author or editor of many books, including The Quiet Voices: Southern Rabbis and Black Civil Rights, 1880s to 1990s and Dixie Diaspora: An Anthology of Southern Jewish History, as well as the founding and current editor of the journal Southern Jewish History.

Stephen Krause is an attorney in the San Francisco Bay area and an award-winning singer/songwriter. He graduated magna cum laude from the Boston University School of Law in 1996 with a concentration in negotiation and dispute resolution, and he was also an editor of the Boston University Law Review journal.

To Stand Aside or Stand Alone will provide the English-speaking world with a documentary treasure trove that is, to the best of my knowledge, sui generis.”
—Gary Phillip Zola, author of Isaac Harby of Charleston, 1788-1828: Jewish Reformer and Intellectual and coeditor of A Place of Our Own: The Rise of Reform Jewish Camping

“In 1966, Rabbi Allen Krause conducted frank interviews with Southern rabbis concerning Jews and the American civil rights movement. Now, fifty years later, transcripts of these precious interviews have finally been unsealed. The results-some of them explosive, some disturbing, and all of them illuminating-form the core of this book. It makes a unique contribution.”
—Jonathan D. Sarna, author of When General Grant Expelled the Jews and American Judaism: A History

Jews and Judaism: History and Culture
Adam D. Mendelsohn, series editor 

424 pages / 14 B&W figures
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1924-3 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-9021-1 Ebook

New in Literary Criticism!

Beautiful War: Studies in a Dreadful Fascination is a wide-ranging exploration of armed conflict as depicted in art that illustrates the constant presence of war in our everyday lives. Philip D. Beidler investigates the unending assimilation and pervasive presence of the idea of war in popular culture, the impulses behind the making of art out of war, and the unending and debatably aimless trajectories of war itself.

Beidler’s critical scope spans Shakespeare’s plays through the Victorian battle paintings of Lady Butler, the post-World War I writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Virginia Woolf, and up to twenty-first-century films such as The Hurt Locker and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. As these works of art have become ubiquitous in contemporary culture, the many faces of war clearly spill over into our art and media, and Beidler argues that these portrayals in turn shift the perception of war from a savage truth to a concept.

Beautiful War argues that the representation of war in the arts has always been, and continues to be, an incredibly powerful force. Incorporating painting, music, photography, literature, and film, Beidler traces a disturbing but fundamental truth: war has always provided an aesthetic inspiration while serving ends as various and complex as ideological or geopolitical history, public memory, and mass entertainment.

Beautiful War is a bold and vivid account of the role of war and military conflict as a subject of art that offers much of value to literary and cultural critics, historians, veterans, students of art history and communication studies, and those interested in expanding their understanding of art and media’s influence on contemporary values and memories of the past.

Philip D. Beidler is the William and Margaret Going Endowed Professor of English at the University of Alabama and the author of many works of cultural and literary criticism, among them The Victory Album: Reflections on the Good Life after the Good War; The Island Called Paradise: Cuba in History, Literature, and the Arts; Late Thoughts on an Old War: The Legacy of Vietnam; and American Wars, American Peace: Notes from a Son of the Empire.

“Beidler offers us a dazzling array of case studies that, when taken together, convey the seemingly inexhaustible energy that Western cultures continue to pour into the representations of war via an ever-changing and ever-expanding set of technologies and the protean nature of armed conflict as a locus for collective memory.”
—Steven Trout, author of On the Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919-1941

“The subject of war is, of course, an important one, but what separates this book from many others on the subject is its unusual focus on so many forms of art—literature, film, music, visual art, poetry, photography, architecture, sculpture, shrines, memorials, and the museums that contain such—as they reflect on the intense human response that war induces.”
 —Donald Anderson, editor of War, Literature, and the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities

200 pages / 27 B&W figures
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1930-4 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-9046-4 Ebook

New in Cuban Poetry!

Marcelo Morales’s The World as Presence/El mundo como ser showcases a challenging, bold, and vivid new voice in Cuban literature.

Marcelo Morales is an established, prize-winning writer, yet he is younger in comparison to most of the Cuban poets known internationally, many of whom were born prior to the 1959 revolution. Morales’s poetry follows a timeline ranging from Martí to Guevara to the day of the 2014 announcement by Obama and Castro that diplomatic relations between the two nations would finally be restored.

As Cuba experiences a series of historically remarkable transitions, Morales emerges from this context to offer an incisive poetic account of this critical moment in Cuban, as well as world, history. The World as Presence/El mundo como ser is both the debut of this work in any language and the first English translation of a complete Morales collection.

Marcelo Morales is the author of the poetry collections Cinema (winner of the 1997 Pinos Nuevos Prize), El círculo mágico, and Materia (winner of the 2008 Julián del Casal Prize), among others. His novel La espiral appeared in 2006.

Kristin Dykstra, recipient of the 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship, translated Reina María Rodríguez’s Other Letters to Milena/Otras cartas a Milena and Juan Carlos Flores’s The Counterpunch (and Other Horizontal Poems)/El contragolpe (y otros poemas horizontales), as well as various other books of Cuban poetry.

“Through Kristin Dykstra’s superb translation of The World as Presence/El mundo como ser, we see Marcelo Morales’s never-ending need to articulate, to question, and to be awed by what is important to him as intellectual, as citizen, as family member, and poet. While his concerns are often political, philosophical, and global, they are at the same time intricately and inseparably bound to the body and the personal life of the poet. Morales directly interrogates (in a context that does not encourage or support directness) both the Cuban past and present, and through his work we find reference to a number of important markers of Cuban history and culture. An unforgettable presence for the unforgettable tenseness of the present.”
—Daniel Borzutzky, author of The Book of Interfering Bodies and The Performance of Becoming Human

“In this book, Morales achieves an impressive and deeply engaging balance, never abandoning a passionate commitment to a philosophical (perhaps phenomenological) investigation of the nature of being and presence, an affirmation of love, and ongoing attention to his family, all the while engaging Cuban political/cultural history up to the present moment. The World as Presence/El mundo como ser is the most insightfully contemporary book of Cuban poetry that I have ever read.”
—Hank Lazer, author of The New Spirit, Poems Hidden in Plain View, and Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays 1996-2008, and editor of What is a Poet?

162 pages / 1 B&W figure
ISBN: 978-0-8173-5884-6 Paper
ISBN: 978-0-8173-9085-3 Ebook