Irish, Jewish, and African-Americans’ shared experience and common cause

How Irish, Jewish, and African-Americans’ shared experience and common cause in American history  –  Dr. George Bornstein speaks on The Colors of Zion  

The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library present University of Michigan professor emeritus Dr. George Bornstein who will discuss the issues in his latest book, The Colors of Zion:  Blacks, Jews and Irish 1845 – 1945, on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 7:30 PM in the Library of Grosse Pointe South High School, 11 Grosse Pointe Boulevard at Fisher Road in Grosse Pointe Farms.

General admission is $10. The lecture is free to members of Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library and also free for students and teachers with identification. For more information ext. 6 see the website at or call 313.343.2074.

“Professor George Bornstein is an engaging speaker with a wealth of knowledge to share with those schooled in literature and with the layperson. His friendly and inviting manner make his talks interesting and accessible to everyone fortunate enough to hear him. The Colors of Zion with its examination of a time of amity is especially welcome in these more contentious days.” Says award-winning Grosse Pointe Woods writer Gloria Whelan.

Professor Bornstein will speak on the shared experience and common cause of the three ethnic groups:  “…all those Irish, Jewish, or African-American figures who fought against narrow identification only with their own group.”  Dr. Bornstein’s is a humane account of the cultural connection that did so much to shape life in the United States today.

The New Yorker magazine says, “… George Bornstein offers compelling insights into the century that witnessed, among other things, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, the Potato Famine and subsequent Irish immigration, the Russian progroms and Subsequent Jewish immigrations, the First World War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War.  Heavy stuff.  But Bornstein skirts a straight history lesson and dives into the cultural products of the period.  Using literature, music and film, Bornstein argues that the cooperative and creative efforts among Blacks, Irish, and Jews revealed a shared sense of persecution and empathy – one far stronger than it is today.”

The London Times says of Dr. Bornstein’s book, “The narrative is often revelatory:  a swift succession of memorable case studies challenges reductive notions of black anti-Semitism, Jewish racism, or Irish belligerence.”

Irish, Jewish, and African-Americans' shared experience and common cause
George Bornstein, a C/A.Patrides Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan, is widely recognized as a distinguished scholar of Modernist Literature.  For decades he has devoted himself to the study of the literature and culture of the later 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries.  He has an international reputation and is considered one of the foremost scholars on William Butler Yeats.  Educated at Harvard and Princeton, Professor Bornstein taught at the University of Michigan for 36 years before his retirement.  The author of numerous scholarly monographs and the editor of twelve books, Professor Bornstein has published over fifty articles and is a frequent lecturer at conferences in the United States and abroad.

The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library is a non-profit volunteer organization. They invite new friends to join, participate in their activities and have fun in support of the public library.  Among the membership benefits is free admittance to all Classics Books Lectures. The lectures begin in January, 2012. See details at  For information on the Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, see the website at, call 313.343.2074 ext. 6, or write to: Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, 10 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment