Historian Jerold Auerbach Writes Against the Grain, His Essays and Columns Collected

A new book by this recognized historian, writer and professor emeritus at Wellesley College, Against the Grain: A Historian’s Journey collects many accessible and heartfelt essays and book chapters from his greatest works over the years. Available in hardcover, paperback, and leading eBook formats.

“I was exceedingly fortunate to teach (for forty years) in an elite undergraduate college, where I could mentor intelligent young women who were eager to learn. But Wellesley, still a bastion of Christian privilege a century after its founding, continued to experience (and demurely tolerate) dismaying episodes of anti-Semitism. How ironic that Wellesley and Israel, each in its own distinctive way, had converged to liberate me from my past as a non-Jewish Jew.

Regardless of the subject—law, modern American history, the Pueblo Indians, American Judaism, Israel—deference to the conventional wisdom never had been my style. I always enjoyed the stimulation of writing against the grain: discovering hidden meanings, challenging historical and political pieties, and exposing the self-serving ideology that often lurked beneath self-evident truths. Providing intellectual catnip, it also enabled me to reach readers far beyond the narrow confines of academic journals.

My creative work always was done in the solitude of my study, my sanctum within my home. Enclosed within the treasured artifacts, maps, photographs, prints, and books accumulated during decades of research and travel, I explored the historical past that both inspired and reflected my own intellectual trajectory. Virtually every book I have written, to my genuine surprise, contained within it the seed of its successor. That, of course, is discernible only with hindsight—which, after all, is the distinctive attribute of a historian. I invite my family, friends, and interested readers to accompany me to some favorite destinations during my journey.”

Availability in print and eBooks:

Paperback: At Amazon.com, our QP eStore, Barnes & Noble, and other sites. Libraries may also order through YBP Library Services and Ingram catalog.

Hardcover: At Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, YBP Library Services, and Ingram.


Kindle edition, at Amazon.

NOOKBook, at Barnes & Noble.

At Google Play app.

And at Apple iBooks and iTunes (see it on iPad and iPhone bookstores; and previewed online here).

Also in ePUB format at Smashwords, and look for it at Diesel and Kobobooks.


ISBN 978-1-61027-122-6 (pbk)
ISBN 978-1-61027-133-2 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-61027-123-3 (eBook)

Find out more about Jerold Auerbach–and his recent book on the Altalena tragedy, with its extensive book reviews and blogging.