Conservatism Liberalism

Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against by Jonathan Rieder

By Jonathan Rieder

What bills for the precarious kingdom of liberalism within the mid Nineteen Eighties? Why used to be the Republican celebration capable of thieve away such a lot of ethnic Democrats of modest ability in contemporary presidential elections? Jonathan Rieder explores those questions in his strong learn of the Jews and Italians of Canarsie, a middle-income neighborhood that used to be the scene of a wild insurgency opposed to racial busing. Proud bootstrappers, the youngsters of immigrants, Canarsians may possibly converse with piquant long island accents, yet their tale has a extra common attraction. Canarsie is center the USA, Brooklyn-style.

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Informal, sentimental, and communal ties endure in the most advanced enclaves of modern society. Although these ties have declined in intensity or altered in function, few areas of life so aptly show the vitality of ethnicity as politics. 2 Because communal traditions framed the way Canarsie Jews and Italians responded to threat in recent years, an exploration of their political subcultures must supplement my impressionistic vignettes. The archetypes of idealistic Jews and wily Italians point to aspects of their respective political tempers.

His condemnation of Mussolini's attack on France-"The hand that held the dagger has plunged it into the back of its neighbor"-stirred public outcry in Canarsie's Little Italy. One source of disenchantment with the Democratic party lay in the anti-Fascist foreign policy that led to war with Italy. As one Canarsie political leader said, "People were brainwashed into thinking the Republicans were the party of the rich and the Democrats were the party of the people. But I can't forget that Roosevelt sucked us into World War II.

We weren't out fo overthrow the government. I remember joining a sit-down strike when I was a member of the Candle Makers Union. We were part of John L. " They both felt they had made impressive gains. The husband was 18 History grateful to the Longshoreman's Union which, despite the pension fund shysters, the coming of containerized cargo, and the kickbacks, secured his tenure in an $18,000-a-year job. His house in many ways embodied that process of betterment. He harked back to his thinking in the first flush of the move to Canarsie in the mid-1950s.

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