The Jews in America

David C. Cohen, Editor HarperAudio $19.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-00-215323-2
A glossy, predictable paean to American Jewry by the producers of the Day in the Life series, this oversize collection of photographs traverses the country, capturing cowboys and Soviet Jewry activists, magicians and roving rabbis. The belabored point here is that Jews have special customs--circumcision, bar mitzvah, Passover seder--that set them apart, but Jews are also as American as apple pie. Hence, many of the 197 pictures, most of them color, reiterate that Jews are just regular folk: there are cozy multigenerational shots and photos of Jewish doctors, astronauts, hikers, soldiers, prisoners, casket-makers, emotionally disturbed youth. Cohen, co-editor of Christmas in America , plays up a familiar ethnic focus on food and stardom (a photograph of Steven Spielberg and his mom, Leah Adler, who owns a kosher L.A. restaurant, combines the two themes). A picture of the Jewish attorneys of a Century City law firm smacks of ghettoization and one of a woman immersing herself in a Brooklyn ritual bath is intrusive. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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