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A letter to the editor, a challenge to the status quo? Radical and transgressive correspondence in the Anglo-Jewish press, 1901-1914

Renshaw, D. (2020) A letter to the editor, a challenge to the status quo? Radical and transgressive correspondence in the Anglo-Jewish press, 1901-1914. In: O'Hagan, L. A. (ed.) Rebellious Writing: Contesting Marginalisation in Edwardian Britain. Writing and Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century. Peter Lang, Oxford.

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Abstract/Summary

This chapter will interpret correspondence from Jewish readerships to the editors of the various Anglo-Jewish newspapers, national and local, between 1901 and 1914. It will examine how the letter pages of the Jewish press at the turn of the twentieth century acted as an space where opinions and political inclinations contrary those prevalent in the Anglo-Jewish communal authorities could be expressed, in other words a zone where ‘ordinary writing’ from both working class urban areas and the suburbs could function as a challenge to the political establishment and the status quo that these newspapers represented. It will examine four issues of debate and contestation – the growth of socialism in working class Jewish communities, the campaign for female suffrage, responses to the renewed persecution of Jews in Russia, and attitudes towards the passing of the Aliens Act in 1905. In doing so it will argue that the letter pages of the Jewish press by the twentieth century were indicative of a new confident and literate working class Jewish identity, melding together English and Eastern European identities and prepared to challenge through ‘ordinary writing’ the hegemony of the old Anglo-Jewish hierarchy in the early twentieth century.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:93123
Publisher:Peter Lang

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