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Historical Initiative

Jewish Humor in American Popular Culture

Joseph Dorinson

Foreword by Joseph Boskin

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-9482-8
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2056-5
photos, notes, bibliography, index
softcover (6 x 9) 2015

Buy From McFarland Books
Or Buy On Amazon

Price: $40.00

Kvetching and ShpritzingAbout the Book
Jewish humor, with its rational skepticism and cutting social criticism, permeates American popular culture. Scholars of humor—from Sigmund Freud to Woody Allen—have studied the essence of the Jewish joke, at once a defense mechanism against a hostile world and a means of cultural affirmation.

Where did this wit originate? Why do Jewish humorists work at the margins of so many diverse cultures? What accounts for the longevity of the Jewish joke? Do oppressed people, as African American author Ralph Ellison suggested, slip their yoke when they change the joke? Citing examples from prominent humorists and stand-up comics, this book examines the phenomenon of Jewish humor from its biblical origins to its prevalence in the modern diaspora, revealing a mother lode of wit in language, literature, folklore, music and history.

About the Author(s)
Joseph Dorinson, a professor of history, teaches at Long Island University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Other Book(s) by Joseph Dorinson Available from McFarland:Paul Robeson

Review(s)Kvetching and Shpritzing is thought-provoking, meticulously researched, and by the way, funny as hell. I envy readers about to turn to page one.”–Lawrence Richards, Writer-Producer, When Comedy Went to School. Read all reviews