What are three books you love to teach to undergraduates?

Hasia Diner

New York University

Anna Igra, Wives Without Husbands: Marriage, Desertion, and Welfare in New York, 1900–1935 (University of North Carolina Press, 2007)

Jewish wives, Jewish husbands, and Jewish charitable bodies square off against each other in this book. It challenges students who have bought into a kind of romance about the solidity of the American Jewish family.

Eric Goldstein, The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity (Princeton University Press, 2006)

A deeply researched and seriously thought- out contribution to American Jewish history; probably the most sophisticated treatment of the whiteness issue that has so dominated historical writing in the last decade.

Tony Michels, A Fire in their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York (Harvard University Press, 2005)

Profoundly challenges some deeply held ideas in American Jewish history and in the history of socialism. In this beautifully written book, Michels provides a new way of thinking about the sources of the socialist presence in turn-of-the-century New York.