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Talking Back
Images of Jewish Women in American Popular Culture
Joyce Antler, ed.

Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life

1998 • 315 pp. 17 illus. 4 figs. 6 x 9"
Jewish Studies / Women's Studies

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"This fascinating and persuasive work explores the lives of notable 20th-century Jewish American women from Emma Lazarus, Emma Goldman, and Golda Meir to Bella Abzug, Adrienne Rich, and Wendy Wasserstein . . . A seminal study; highly recommended." —Library Journal

Lively essays investigating American Jewish women's images in popular culture.

Fourteen provocative essays challenge traditional notions of Jewish female identity presented in mass media images, films, narrative, and stories by portraying the American Jewish woman not only as subject but as shaper of American popular culture.

Sometimes internalizing negative presentations but more often "talking back" to them, Jewish women created alternative images that became tools of rebellion, subverting and dismantling such stereotypes as the "Yiddishe Mama," the Jewish Mother, and the Jewish American Princess. Over the course of the century -- and particularly as a consequence of feminism -- Jewish female novelists, screenwriters, dramatists, entertainers, and grass-roots feminists were able to create new possibilities for the expression of Jewish women's voices.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Marjorie Morningstar and Ruth Puttermesser, Grace Paley and Barbra Streisand, are here, cheek by jowl, in this rich collection of essays. A stimulating, wide-ranging, and often surprising mix.”—Joan Micklin Silver, Filmmaker

Talking Back illuminates the complex historical interplay between cultural stereotyping and Jewish women’s self-representations. Ranging over a broad terrain of subjects, the collection deepens our understanding of Jewish women’s changing consciousness and how it has helped shape the history of American popular culture.”—Susan A. Glenn, University of Washington

JOYCE ANTLER is samuel Lane Professor and Chairperson, Department of American Studies, Brandeis University. Her most recent book is The Journey Home: Jewish Women and the American Century (1997).

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:43:15 -0500