University of Nevada Press


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ISBN: 978-0-87417-845-6
Binding: [Paperback]
Pages: 456
Publication date: March 2011
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Jews in Nevada
A History
A Jewish, Latvian-born tailor patented the design for the world-famous Levi’s blue jeans. An industrious Jewish casino pioneer with a dubious past played an important role in the development of Las Vegas. A Jewish immigrant succeeded against all odds in constructing a four-mile-long tunnel to gain access to the riches of the Comstock Lode. These and hundreds of other historical figures helped to shape the American West, with the one common bond of Judaism and their commitment—in one form or another—to their ancestry and their faith. For over 150 years, Jews have been involved in virtually every part of the state of Nevada: as businessmen; agrarians; scholars; educators; artists; politicians; and civic, professional, and religious leaders. But until now the history of Jews in Nevada has been only rarely touched upon in history books. As John P. Marschall, the author of Jews in Nevada recalls, “I intended to write a critical history of religion and politics in Nevada…I chose the Jews, only to find that virtually nothing had been written on them.” This fascinating historical study provides readers with an understanding of Jews and their place in American history, and in particular the important roles they played and contributions they made in communities throughout Nevada and the West.
“This book is a vitally important contribution to our knowledge of Nevada history, western history, ethnic history, and religious history. Professor Marschall has done a stunning job of research--his digging was prodigious and thorough, and he has accumulated a wealth of evidence to tell the highly significant story of the Jewish experience in Nevada. It should wind up on the shelves of any library with an interest in history and in the home of anyone with the slightest interest in any part of Nevada or the history of Jews in America.” -Michael Green, coauthor of Las Vegas: A Centennial History

“The author did an amazing job of research. It’s the kind of book that one might pick up, read any chapter, and have a feeling of satisfaction. It will be indispensable to future scholars and anyone else studying about Jews in Nevada. In fact, it will be the first place for these people to go.” -Leonard Dinnerstein, author of Antisemitism in America

"A welcome addition to Judaic studies shelves, as well as Nevada state history shelves." -The Midwest Book Review

“This admirable work of scholarship adds a new dimension to the field of ethnicity in Nevada. It is also a major addition to the study of Jews in the West.” -Western Historical Quarterly

“John P. Marschall offers an outstanding local history of a dynamic Jewish population in the West. . . . His is a meticulous research effort, animated by details of Nevada’s Jews as well as a sense of how their stories fit into the larger historiographic questions of both religionists and local historians.” -American Jewish Archives Journal

“It is one of the best discussions of any religious or ethnic group’s experience in the Silver State, the story of a people whose presence in Nevada exceeded their share of the nation’s population both in the Comstock days and in the past several decades.” -Reno Gazette-Journal