A Mark Twain scholar. An African American philosopher. A lesbian feminist literary critic. A Cuban-American anthropologist. A German immigrant to the United States. A professor of English at a Jesuit university. All share their reflections on the interconnectedness of identities and ideas in People of the Book, the first collection in which Jewish-American scholars examine how their Jewishness has shaped and influenced their intellectual endeavors, and how their intellectual work has deepened their sense of themselves as Jews. The contributors are highly productive and respected Jewish-American scholars, critics, and teachers from departments of English, history, American studies, Romance literature, Slavic studies, art, women's studies, comparative literature, anthropology, Judaic studies, and philosophy. Nearly an equal mix of men and women, the authors of these analytical and autobiographical essays include white Jews and black Jews; orthodox, conservative, reform, and totally secular Jews; Jews by birth and Jews by conversion; heterosexual Jews and homosexual Jews; past presidents of the Modern Language Association and American Studies Association and young scholars at the start of their careers.
Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky, associate professor of English at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, is the author of "Adrift in the Old World: The Psychological Pilgrimage of Washington Irving." Shelley Fisher Fishkin is professor of American Studies and English at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of "Was Huck Black?: Mark Twain and African-American Voices" and" From Fact to Fiction: Journalism and Imaginative Writing in America," and co-editor of "Listening to Silences: New Essays in Feminist Criticism."