Goldstein Offers Historical Context for Representation of Jewish America in Oppenheimer

Dr. Eric Goldstein, Associate Professor of History, recently contributed to an Atlanta Jewish Times article focused on the blockbuster summer 2023 film Oppenheimer. Titled “Oppenheimer Story Set in Jewish America’s Golden Age,” the piece examines the film’s depiction of the Jewish scientists and politicians who helped to shape, and were shaped by, a crucial period of American history in the 1940s-’50s. A specialist in American Jewish history and culture, Goldstein offers illuminating insight into the broader context that figures like J. Robert Oppenheimer, his chief adversary Lewis Strauss, and others navigated in this pivotal period. Read an excerpt from the article below along with the full piece here.

“According to Emory University professor Eric Goldstein, a noted authority on American Jewish history, the 1950s were a difficult decade for American Jews, who were experiencing unprecedented acceptance in America during the years following World War II. He describes it as ‘a golden age for American Jewry.’

“‘There was a huge investment in building new synagogues and Jewish centers, particularly in the suburbs and things like that. And American culture now began to see Jews not as immigrant outsiders or members of some inferior foreign race but as part of the Judeo-Christian tradition where Jews, Protestants, and Catholics all seemed to have a kind of claim to being true Americans.'”

Klibanoff Helps Write New Chapter at WABE

Emory Journalism Professor Hank Klibanoff, who heads the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory and is also Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently featured in an article about the shifting format and programming of the 75-year-old Atlanta NPR affiliate, WABE. Published in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the article discusses how Klibanoff’s renowned podcast, “Buried Truths,” has helped to carry WABE into a vital, digitally-oriented next chapter. A native of the small Jewish community of Florence, Alabama, Klibanoff’s work as a journalist and advocate for racial justice has received extensive recognition, including through a Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award and a seat on the Presidential commission on racial justice. Read an excerpt of the AJT article below, along with the full piece here: “Klibanoff, Reitzes Lead WABE into a Digital Future.”

“When Hank Klibanoff won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for a book on journalism in the Deep South of the 1950s, he felt he might achieve a certain amount of fame and a boost to his professional reputation. Maybe, he thought, he might be able to make some money off the nonfiction award winner.

“‘It was good recognition,’ Klibanoff says. ‘It won a Pulitzer Prize, for goodness sakes, and you feel if you sell 30,000 copies of the book you’ve accomplished something, but even at that, I didn’t make a nickel from it, not even over several years.’

“But Klibanoff, who grew up in the small Jewish community of Florence, Ala., before his long and successful career in journalism, was destined for stardom. It would not come in newspapers or the publishing world he knew so well, but on the radio and in the rapidly growing world of podcasts — something he knew little about.”

Anderson Talks Democracy in America, Past and Present, for WaPo Live

Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently a featured guest on The Washington Post Live with Post journalist Sarah Ellison. Framed by the theme “Democracy in America,” Anderson offers historical context and contemporary analysis of issues threatening the vitality of democracy in the U.S., ranging from polarization in Congress and popular mistrust in institutions to the dissemination of political disinformation. Anderson is the author, most recently, of The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021). Watch the interview below or on YouTube: “Historian Carol Anderson on America’s democracy and the lessons of the past.”