Jacob H. Schiff : a study in American Jewish leadership /
Naomi W. Cohen.
Hanover, N.H. : University Press of New England, c1999.
xiv, 320 p.
0874519489 (cl. : alk. paper)
More Details
Hanover, N.H. : University Press of New England, c1999.
0874519489 (cl. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Winner of several American Jewish book awards, Naomi W. Cohen lives in Jerusalem.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-04:
Cohen has written an illuminating narrative of the public life of Jacob H. Schiff (1847-1920), arguably the most distinguished and effective leader of his generation. Mining extensively the letters of the Schiff Archives, Cohen in one chapter limns Schiff's extraordinary professional life--his rise to fabulous wealth as head of Kuhn, Loeb, the Wall Street investment banking firm, and the prestige and power that he therefore enjoyed--to more comprehensively demonstrate how Schiff used all these assets to serve as the preeminent Jewish communal diplomat, lobbyist, and philanthropist. A benevolent though kindhearted despot who used philanthropy for social control, an ethnic broker who mediated Jewish interests in the US by insinuating his visions of American-Jewish synthesis and the need for Jewish unity into communal affairs, Schiff, as Cohen so ably shows, exerted potent and unparalleled leadership in the spheres of Jewish welfare, education, and immigrant resettlement, as well as in the general civic area. Ever defending Jewish rights and honor, he locked horns publicly with American presidents and foreign governments (notably Czarist Russia) on behalf of American and world Jewry. Impressively written and documented, this book about an incredible communal steward of a bygone era is valuable and informative for scholars, community leaders, and general readers alike. B. Kraut; CUNY Queens College
Review Quotes
"Modern American Jews generally believe that until the period after World War II American Jewry was afraid to exert political power. Jacob H. Schiff . . . is a useful corrective to this mistaken idea . . . [A] well-written and well-researched book." --New York Times Book Review
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, November 1999
New York Times Book Review, December 1999
Choice, April 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
The life of Jacob Schiff (1847 - 1920), banker, financier, and leader of the American Jewish community from 1880 to 1920, is in many ways the quintessential story of an immigrant's success in America. Born in Frankfurt in 1847, Schiff worked in several financial firms in Germany and the US before accepting a position at the New York banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Company in 1875 and settling for good in America. Part of a wealthy and powerful German Jewish circle that included the Warburgs and Rothschilds, Schiff played a central role in shaping American and European Jewish history. From his base on Wall Street, he was the foremost Jewish leader in what became known as the "Schiff era," grappling with all major issues and problems of the day, including the plight of Russian Jews under the czar, American and international anti-Semitism, care of needy Jewish immigrants, and the rise of Zionism. Based on a broad range of primary sources, Naomi W. Cohen's study emphasizes the role Schiff played as the preeminent leader of American Jewry at the turn of the century.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
The Making of a Leaderp. 1
Leadership and Philanthropyp. 41
The New Immigrantsp. 82
Captivity and Redemptionp. 124
In Search of a Refugep. 153
The World at Warp. 189
Questions of Loyaltyp. 189
Questions of Leadershipp. 209
Questions of Zionism and Unityp. 224
The End of an Erap. 238
Notesp. 251
Indexp. 301
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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