When General Grant Expelled the Jews

Jonathan D. Sarna. Nextbook/Schocken, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4279-9
In December 1862, Gen. Ulysses Grant, suspecting Jews of smuggling goods into the Confederacy, issued General Orders No. 11, expelling them from the “Department of the Tennessee.” A widely respected historian of American Jewry (American Judaism), Sarna tells the story of the order and its revocation by Lincoln three weeks later thanks to intervention by Jewish merchant Cesar Kaskel and others. Sarna focuses less on the order itself than on its repercussions during Grant’s presidential bids in 1868 and 1872 and his two administrations. For perhaps the first time in American political history, there was widespread talk of a “Jewish vote” and a debate within the Jewish community over whether it should promote collective interests. While some Jews saw Grant as a modern-day Haman, others, such as businessman Simon Wolf, had “dreams of... reconciliation.” Wolf’s view seems to have prevailed. Sarna documents how Grant came to rue his notorious order, becoming a philo-Semite and appointing 50 Jews to office, most notably Benjamin Franklin Peixotto as consul (ambassador) to Romania, with a mandate to work on behalf of victimized Jews. Thoroughly researched and crisply written, this is a very fine work that will interest students of both American and modern Jewish history. Photos, map. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/19/2011
Release date: 03/13/2012
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 151 pages - 978-0-8052-4303-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-12657-2
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.