How and why did Jews come to dominate parts of the clothing trade in the United States in the late 19th century? Providing a lively tour of the clothing markets of antebellum America, this session will explore the unlikely path of Jews from the underside of the clothing trade to its upper reaches.
Adam D. Mendelsohn is Director of the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of History at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of The Rag Race: How Jews Sewed Their Way to Success in America and the British Empire and co-editor of Jews and the Civil War (with Jonathan D. Sarna) and of Transnational Traditions: New Perspectives on American Jewish History (with Ava Kahn), as well as curator of exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society, Princeton University Art Museum, and the Center for Jewish History. He has just finished the first book of a two volume history focused on the experience of Jewish soldiers during the Civil War.