City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, 3-volume box set
Why this book?
Understanding New York Jews is key to understanding American Jews. There is no city like New York City and there are no Jews like New York Jews. In the middle of the 20th century, they made up around 30% of the total city population. This three-volume award-winning set uncovers aspects of the city’s history that even aficionados don’t know. Each volume can be purchased separately but together they paint an absorbing panorama across four centuries. I like to teach the volumes. They are fresh each time I read them, with lively prose and compelling vignettes. Reading them is like walking the streets of Gotham with a great guide.