The Colonial American Jew, 1492-1776Book - 1970
In The Colonial American Jew, Jacob Rader Marcus tells of the distinctive and significant history of American Jews. His basic premise is that the Jews constitute a "people"-united by common institutions, traditions, beliefs, an inspiring past, and an unusually strong sense of kinship.
Marcus traces Jewish life in the western world from 1492 when the first Jews came to America with Columbus. He sketches a history of settlements in South America and the Caribbean and follows the move of organized Jewry to New Amsterdam in North America and on to other communities in many of the fourteen colonies. After discussing the founding of these significant settlements, Marcus's approach becomes topical. He has included sections on the legal status and the economic development of the early settlers and on the social welfare and educational practices of the Jewish communities. In the final section he analyzes the Jews' integration into the larger American community.