Blackwell North Amer Extreme piety, joyous intensity, and a unique social organization have distinguished the Hasidim from other Orthodox Jews since the latter half of the eighteenth century. After the Second World War, survivors of the once thriving Hasidic communities of Eastern Europe began to settle in New York City. Hasidic People is an engrossing social history of the New York community based on extensive interviews, observation, newspaper files, and court records. Jerome Mintz, an anthropologist, combines historical study with tenacious investigation to provide a vivid account of social and religious dynamics. In an objective and thoughtful framework he allows events to unfold through the reports and commentaries of the Hasidim and those in close association with them. Their voices fill the book with vibrant life and meaning. Mintz's work offers new insights into family life, succession in Hasidic dynasties, social change, and conflicts concerning proselytizing, the State of Israel, and Messianic expectations. From Brooklyn enclaves to settlements in the suburbs, we see a people set apart and yet living in close proximity with other ethnic groups, including blacks and Latinos, and facing competition for housing, economic development, and political representation. Hasidic People takes the reader from the various neighborhood settlements through years of growth to the tragic riots in Crown Heights at the close of the summer of 1991. With engaging style, rich in personal insight, the book invites us into this old world within the new, a way of life at once foreign and yet intrinsic to the American experience.