Many congratulations are in order for Hasia Diner, winner of this year’s Saul Viener Book Prize in American Jewish History, one of the highest honors for writing about American Jews. The book, We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962, was just released in paperback and is available from our new website. The full award citation is below.
The American Jewish Historical Society is pleased to award the biennial Saul Viener Book Prize in American Jewish History to Hasia Diner’s We Remember with Reverence and Love. The book is a meticulously and indefatigably researched study using an exhaustive trove of resources in liturgy, public demonstrations, literature, songs, pamphlets, newspapers, handbills, speeches, sermons, and more. Diner’s book uses so broad a range of primary and contemporary material, and so much of it, that We Remember… makes the leap from a quantitative to a qualitative advance in Jewish Studies. Her study results in a seismic shift of the paradigm through which we analyze the social and intellectual history of American Jewry. It is an extraordinarily well-mounted, organized, relentless, and persuasive attack on the remarkably durable conventional wisdom that Jewish Americans were silent about the Holocaust in the post-war period. Though certain to elicit some demurrers, especially about what might have gone on in the private worlds of Jews in the U.S. during this era, no one will be able to say any longer that the subject of the Holocaust was “swept under the rug” in the public Jewish American dialogue of the 1940s and 1950s.