Goldstein’s 2006 ‘The Price of Whiteness’ Attains New Relevance in 2020

Dr. Eric Goldstein, Associate Professor of History, published The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity with Princeton UP in 2006. Emory’s Tam Institute for Jewish Studies recently published a story outlining the special relevance Goldstein’s work has gained in the midst of current, widespread protests for racial justice. Read an excerpt from their feature below along with the full article, “Goldstein’s book takes on new relevance in 2020.”

In the last few months, Goldstein has been contacted by a host of groups and organizations from across the country—both from inside and outside the Jewish community— to help them sort through the complicated set of issues around American Jews and their place in current discussions about race and privilege. In a recent webinar with the Jewish Federations of North America, Goldstein explained that he first became interested in these issues during his graduate training at the University of Michigan, where he was the only student in his cohort studying U.S. history in combination with modern Jewish history. As it became clear to him how central issues of race and racial discrimination were to the shaping of American history, he was pushed to think about how the American Jewish experience was also decisively shaped by a national culture in which “black” and “white” were the most important categories of difference. He explored these questions in a doctoral thesis that would eventually become The Price of Whiteness.”