Princeton University Library announces publication of “Yearning to Breathe Free,” a compilation of scholarly essays looking at Jews in Gilded Age America

 Book cover for "Yearning to Breathe Free"“Yearning to Breathe Free: Jews in Gilded Age America. Essays by Twenty Contributing Scholars” is now available. Edited by Adam D. Mendelsohn and Jonathan D. Sarna, the book includes a foreword by sponsor Leonard L. Milberg, Class of 1953. The thematic essays in “Yearning to Breathe Free” each use a primary source—a book, newspaper, tract, or artwork—as an entry point into the era and as a means to introduce key themes, figures, and developments within the Gilded Age, across topics ranging from art, music, and literature down to politics, medicine, and religion. The essays highlight patterns and trends that in some cases anticipated what came later, and in others demonstrate how developments in the Gilded Age shaped Jewish life in the twentieth century. Collectively, they reveal the variety of ways in which the Gilded Age was a critical period in American Jewish history.

“Sponsorship for the book is thanks to the generosity of Mr. Milberg,” said Stephen Ferguson, Associate University Librarian for External Engagement. “It continues his philanthropy to the Library consisting of donations of book and print collections, sponsored publications as well as exhibitions, which first began in the early 1980s.”  

Authors include: Samantha Baskind (Cleveland State University), Judah M. Cohen (Indiana University), David G. Dalin (Brandeis University), Noah Efron (Bar-Ilan University), Zev Eleff (Gratz College), Lori Harrison-Kahan (Boston College), Melissa R. Klapper (Rowan University),  Michael P. Kramer (Bar-Ilan University), Alan M. Kraut (American University), Eli Lederhendler (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Adam D. Mendelsohn (University of Cape Town), Pamela S. Nadell (American University), Heather S. Nathans (Tufts University),  Shari Rabin (Oberlin College), Jonathan D. Sarna (Brandeis University), M. M. Silver (Max Stern Yezreel Valley College), Daniel Soyer (Fordham University), Benjamin Steiner (Trinity College), Beth S. Wenger (University of Pennsylvania), Shira Wolosky (Hebrew University).
Both the softcover edition ($40) and the hardcover, special edition ($45) of this 715-page book featuring nearly 100 color and black & white images may be purchased online at the Princeton University Art Museum Store

Published November 4, 2022.

Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications