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Louis Miller and Di Warheit (“The Truth”)

Yiddishism, Zionism and Socialism in New York, 1905–<1915>

Ehud Manor is Senior Lecturer in the History Department, Oranim College, and has published academic articles in Hebrew and English. He has participated in various academic conferences in Israel, Sweden, Argentina, Australia and the United States. He is the author of the well-received The Jewish Daily Forward (Forverts) Newspaper: Immigrants, Socialism and Jewish Politics in New York, 1890–1917, published by SAP. He is also co-author with Jaume Renyer (Spain) of Un Estado Judio y Democratico (Milenio, 2010), as well as Making Peace with the Palestinians (Hebrew, Carmel Publishing House, 2012).


This book tells the story of Di Warheit (“The Truth”), a Yiddish daily established in New York in late 1905. Its founder, Louis Miller (1866–1927), emigrated from Russia to the US in 1884, and by 1897 was the leader of a group that established the Forverts, later to be the most successful Yiddish newspaper in the United States. Common wisdom depict Miller’s social leaning as stemming from ego and opportunism, but Ehud Manor suggests that his publishing philosophy was based primarily on ideological and political grounds.

Why to begin his story in 1905? Because in that year ‘The Jewish Question’, especially in Russia with its pogroms, turned dramatic. Miller understood that the time had come for a paradigm shift. The result was labelled Klal-Yisruel Politics, a combined nationalist all-Jewish effort to ameliorate ‘the Jewish condition’ wherever Jews suffered or were oppressed. The drive behind Miller’s decision to run Di Warheit was his eagerness to promote a progressive, non-radical and pragmatic political mind set among his immigrant brethren. This somewhat forgotten chapter in American Jewish history is told here in chronological order, mainly through the texts of Miller’s newspaper. Each chapter is dedicated to the main issue that drove Miller’s publishing effort at a specific time period, and in response to external events impacting on Jewry, until the management forced him out of Di Warheit due to his non-conventional interpretation of the war that broke out in Europe in 1914. This long-awaited book tells the story of a Yiddish-speaking socialist, who, after denying the very existence of a specific Jewish people, was open-minded enough to re-examine his beliefs and courageous enough to publicly change his mind. But he paid the price for telling, or at least trying to tell, that truth.


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-549-6
Hardback Price: £35.00 / $49.50
Release Date: Enter Date
   
Page Extent / Format: 152 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No
   

 



Introduction

1 The First Year – 1905
2 The Second Year – 1906
3 The "Kehillah"
4 Exploring Zionism 5The Elections of 1912
6 Hourwich, Miller and the Protocol of Peace
7 Truth and Legacy

Glossary
Bibliography
Index


In November 1905, while the most popular Forverts (Forward) edited by Abraham Kahan was expanding its readership rapidly, the first issue of the Jewish-Socialist daily Di Warheit (The Truth) appeared in the heavily Jewish immigrant populated Lower East Side of New York City. Following his meticulous study of the Forverts, Ehud Manor offers his readers a pioneering detailed account of this American Jewish Socialist pro-Zionist newspaper, and its founder and editor, Louis Miller. Manor relates to numerous details, events, and encounters, within three main contexts: Jewish immigrant society in general, the complex and tense internal relationships between Jewish Socialist leaders, and New York’s political scene. I contend that readers interested in any given aspect of the immigrant experience during the mass immigration period will find this for-the-most-part overlooked chapter in historiography a most welcome addition to the existing knowledge of various developments during a crucial era in American Jewish history.
Kimmy Caplan, Bar-Ilan University


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