Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Theatrical LiberalismJews and Popular Entertainment in America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrea Most

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708194

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708194.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Jews, Theatricality, and Modernity

Jews, Theatricality, and Modernity

(p.15) 1 Jews, Theatricality, and Modernity
Theatrical Liberalism

Andrea Most

NYU Press

Throughout the twentieth century, American Jews were instrumental in the development of the major industries and entertainment forms that provided mass culture to a majority of Americans: Broadway, Hollywood, the television and radio industries, stand-up comedy, and the popular music industry have all been deeply influenced by the activity of Jews. However, this close connection between Jews and entertainment represented a radical departure from traditional Jewish attitudes toward the theater. This chapter explores why, for centuries, Jews were one of the few European cultures without any official public theatrical tradition. It looks at how the particular historical conditions of Jewish modernity in Europe eventually led Jews to become intimately involved with the theater. Finally, it examines the history of interpretation of the biblical story of Jacob and Esau in order to understand the ways in which Jewish thinkers across the ages have responded to the morally ambiguous aspects of theatricality itself, a mode which encompasses both acting on the stage and performance in everyday life.

Keywords:   American Jews, popular entertainment, popular culture, theatrical tradition, Jewish modernity, theater, Jewish thinkers

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.