Jonathan Sarna lecture to air Dec. 27 on C-SPAN 3

Photo/Mike Lovett

A class lecture by Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, on Henry Ford and his support of anti-Semitic publications, will be broadcast on C-SPAN 3 this Saturday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. as well as at midnight as part of its “Lectures in History” series which airs each Saturday.

C-SPAN was on campus in November to film the lecture, which was part of Sarna’s course “It couldn’t happen here: Three American anti-semitic episodes.” Sarna discussed the influence of Henry Ford and his publication, The International Jew, on the American Jewish experience. 

"It was a great honor for me to be selected by C-SPAN for its series," says Sarna. "The students participated actively in the class and we talked about what it meant when one of the greatest men in America declared Jews to be the 'world's foremost problem.' We discussed the great irony that Ford blamed Jews for changing America but never realized that nobody did more to change America than he himself, through the automobile. More broadly, we looked at the motif of the 'mythical Jew' and the 'Jew next door,' which characterizes the Ford saga. Ford lambasted 'Jews' but was mystified that friends and employees who were Jewish took offense. Of course, the descendants of Henry Ford long ago disavowed his anti-semitism. Still, the episode remains important as an object lesson in hatred and its consequences. I am glad to be able to share that lesson with C-SPAN viewers."

Categories: General, Humanities and Social Sciences

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