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Library Releases Book on Jewish Life in America

This fall, the Library of Congress and George Braziller Inc. will release a new publication edited and compiled by Hebraic Section Curator Michael Grunberger titled “From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America.” The collection of essays and rich illustrations traces the development of Jewish life in America from the settlement of 23 Jews in New Amsterdam in 1654 through today.

For his new book, Grunberger compiled essays by several leading Jewish historians, which address topics such as Jewish immigration to America, anti-Semitism, Jews and the Civil War, American Jewish women and American Jewish pop culture. More than 100 illustrations along with maps, sheet music and newspaper articles from the Library’s massive collection help bring this history to life.

In conjunction with the book, the Library is also unveiling a new special exhibit by the same name that highlights some of the key issues and time periods addressed in the publication. The exhibit, located in the Northwest Gallery of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, opens on Thursday and will run through mid-December.

“From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America” will be sold in bookstores across the country, in the Library’s sales shop, and online at

Presidents’ Relationships With Daughters Explored

“First Daughters: Letters Between U.S. Presidents and Their Daughters,” a new book exploring the unique relationship between presidential papas and their female offspring, will be published this fall by the Library of Congress in association with Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.

Thirty-one U.S. presidents have been the fathers of girls.

Culled from the LOC’s collections of presidential papers as well as the those of presidential and private libraries, the book includes correspondence between 21 of these presidents and their daughters. Grouped thematically, the largely unedited missives touch on a range of subjects from marriage to politics to education.

In a statement, Librarian of Congress James Billington said the anthology, which includes several previously unpublished letters, would “open a unique window” into the intimate familial relations of the United State’s first families.

The 320-page hardcover book has a father-daughter story of its own. The correspondence was compiled by Gerard Gawalt, an LOC historian and curator of presidential papers, in conjunction with his own daughter, attorney Anne Gawalt.

— John McArdle and Bree Hocking