Margaret Sankey's Reviews > When General Grant Expelled the Jews

When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan D. Sarna
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May 25, 2012

really liked it
Read in May, 2012

In December 1862, fed up with cotton trading and contraband (including his own father's involvement in a scheme), Grant issued a reactionary order expelling Jews, as a group (yes, literally, "General Store Germans"), from the Department of the Tennessee. Quickly, Lincoln halted the order and was mortified, but the weeks in which is was carried out were burned into the memories of Jewish Americans, many of whom had experienced pogroms in Europe. Running for President and holding the office, Grant had to consciously rehabilitate himself, rebuffing attempts to legally classify the US as a Christian nation, appointing Jews as territorial governors, judges and ambassadors, and encouraging a confident political presence in Midwestern cities like Cincinnati. Sarna concentrates on the deliberate moves made by Grant, their effect on the American Jewish community, and the unfortunately transient nature of those gains.
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