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There Was a Fire

Jews, Music and the American Dream (revised and updated)

Ben Sidran


List Price: 36.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/23/2021)


The first edition of There Was a Fire is a National Jewish Book Award Finalist

"Terrific and tragically obscure . . . I can hardly believe how good it is."-Eric Alterman, The Nation

This book is about the power of memory, the human need for narrative, and the ability of music to encode and deliver the two. It outlines the role of the Jews who came to America from Eastern Europe during the late 19th and 20th centuries and helped define the spirit of the American Dream: a concern for the average man and a penchant for tikkun olam, healing a shattered world. This is the story of how popular music made the ethical framework for 20th century America possible, where popular song led to personal freedom, and social justice was only a chorus away.

Newly revised and updated, the book includes the advent of Trump, Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and streaming services such as Spotify and their impact on the Jewish experience and American Music History.

Nardis Books, 9780578800691, 426pp.

Publication Date: March 23, 2021