9780807036334 / 0807036331

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About the book:

Her exaggerated coiffure, with its imitation curls and soaped curves that stick out at the side of the head like fantastic gargoyles, is an offense to the eye. Her plated gold jewelry with paste stones reveals its cheapness by its very extravagance.

This description of a "ghetto girl" was printed in the American Jewish News in 1918, but with slight variation it might easily be mistaken for a description of our current pernicious and pejorative stereotype of Jewish womanhood, the "JAP." What are the origins of these stereotypes? And even more important, why would an American ethnic group use racist terms to describe itself? Riv-Ellen Prell asks these compelling questions as she observes how deeply anti-Semitic stereotypes infuse Jewish men's and women's views of one another in this history of Jewish acculturation in the twentieth century.

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