Faculty Books

Judaic Studies' faculty have authored a number of critically acclaimed books in recent years. Here is a sampling of their work.


Book cover for "Jews at Work" by Barry Chiswick

Jews at Work: Their Economic Progress in the American Labor Market

Barry Chiswick, professor of economics and international affairs, addresses the educational, occupational and income progress of Jews in the American labor market. Using theoretical and statistical findings, his collection of self-authored essays compares the experience of American Jews with that of other Americans, from the middle of the 19th century through the present.

"Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon," by Eric Cline

Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon

Eric Cline, professor of classics, anthropology and history, tells the remarkable story of one of the most important archaeological expeditions ever undertaken, at the ancient site of Megiddo — Armageddon in the New Testament. The excavation made headlines around the world and shed light on one of the most legendary cities of biblical times.
Book cover for "Engine of Modernity" by Masha Belenky

Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris

Masha Belenky, associate professor of French, examines the connection between public transportation and a fundamental cultural shift in 19th-century Paris. Her account traces how the omnibus — a horse-drawn vehicle for mass urban transport — enabled contact across class and gender lines and became a metaphor for change.

Book cover for "The Book of Esther: Power, Fate and Fragility in Exile" by Erica Brown

The Book of Esther: Power, Fate and Fragility in Exile

Erica Brown, associate professor and director of the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, offers a close textual and thematic reading of this beloved story of courage and heroism against a background of hate and political ineptitude. The ancient story of Esther, unlikely queen turned powerful leader, sheds light on today's most pressing problems: contemporary antisemitism, sexual tyranny and the absence of leadership.

Book cover for "Ghetto: The History of a Word" by Daniel Schwartz

Ghetto: The History of a Word

Daniel Schwartz, professor of history, examines the centuries-old past of the word “ghetto” and how it has come to symbolize both pain and pride. His account traces the word’s journey from the hypersegregated holding pens of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to New York’s Lower East Side and beyond.

Book cover for "Partitions" by Arie Dubnov

Partitions: A Transnational History of Twentieth-Century Territorial Separatism

Arie Dubnov, associate professor of history and Max Ticktin Professor of Israel Studies, has edited the first collective history of the concept of partition by way of three political entities that emerged as a result of partition: the Irish Free State, the Dominions (later Republics) of India and Pakistan and the State of Israel. The collected essays trace the emergence of partition in the aftermath of the First World War and locate its genealogy in the politics of 20th-century empire and decolonization.

Book cover for "Religious Zionism, Jewish Law, and the Morality of War" by Robert Eisen

Religious Zionism, Jewish Law, and the Morality of War

Robert Eisen, professor of religion and Judaic studies, examines a dilemma within modern Jewish thought: Although the state of Israel has been plagued by war for much of its existence, Jewish law includes little material on moral issues in times of conflict. He features five prominent rabbis with insight into the key moral questions in war as they create an entire new body of law.

Book cover for "Set in Stone" by Jenna Weissman Joselit

Set in Stone: America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments

Jenna Weissman Joselit, Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and professor of history, situates the Ten Commandments within the fabric of American history and reveals the influence of the scriptural directives on the formation of our national identity — from the 1860 archaeologists who claimed to have discovered pieces of the tablets in Ohio to politicians who proposed them as citizenship tests to psychotherapists who touted them as psychotherapeutic tool.

"Judaism in Transition: How Economic Choices Shape Religious Tradition" book cover

Judaism in Transition: How Economic Choices Shape Religious Tradition

Carmel U. Chiswick, professor of economics, draws on her Jewish upbringing, her journey as a Jewish parent, and her perspective as an economist to consider how incentives affect the ways that mainstream American Jews have navigated and continue to manage the conflicting demands of everyday life and religious observance.
"Isaiah Berlin: The Journey of a Jewish Liberal," by Arie Dubnov

Isaiah Berlin: The Journey of a Jewish Liberal

Arie Dubnov, associate professor of history and Max Ticktin Chair of Israel Studies, offers an intellectual biography of the philosopher, political thinker and historian of ideas Sir Isaiah Berlin. It aims to provide the first historically contextualized monographic study of Berlin's formative years and identify different stages in his intellectual development, allowing a reappraisal of his theory of liberalism.