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AGAINST THE GRAIN is a collection of challenging and insightful essays from a reflective historian. Jerold Auerbach, Professor Emeritus at Wellesley College (where he taught for 40 years and formerly served as the chair of its history department), writes in the Foreword how his academic career and his time in Israel "each in its own distinctive way converged to liberate me from my past as a non-Jewish Jew." He adds: "Regardless of the subject-law, modern American history, Pueblo Indians, American Judaism, Israel-deference to the conventional wisdom never had been my style. I always enjoyed the stimulation of writing against the grain: discovering hidden meanings, challenging historical and political pieties, and exposing the self-serving ideology that often lurked beneath self-evident truths. Providing intellectual catnip, it also enabled me to reach readers far beyond the narrow confines of academic journals." Furthermore: "My creative work always was done in the solitude of my study, my sanctum within my home. Enclosed within the treasured artifacts, maps, photographs, prints, and books accumulated during decades of research and travel, I explored the historical past that both inspired and reflected my own intellectual trajectory. Virtually every book I have written, to my genuine surprise, contained within it the seed of its successor. That, of course, is discernible only with hindsight-which, after all, is the distinctive attribute of a historian. I invite my family, friends, and interested readers to accompany me to some favorite destinations during my journey." A new book in Quid Pro's Journeys & Memoirs Series, AGAINST THE GRAIN presents this distinctive hindsight in essays and excerpts targeted to a general audience interested in such issues, in addition to historians, journalists, and college students. Many of the essays were first published in non-academic periodicals and are accessible to this broader audience, though they are nonetheless supported with the prodigious research, evocative prose, and candor of a widely published writer.
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