Annelise Orleck

Professor of History

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where you can travel around the world without ever venturing more than a few miles from home. Brooklyn's amazing assortment of cultures sparked an interest in the study of history and ethnicity which continues to this day. I give it full expression in my senior seminar, History 96: Race, Ethnicity and Immigration in American History. I also teach U.S. Political History, 20th Century Women's History, the History of Women and American Radicalism Left and Right and Jewish history.

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I am the author of three books and the editor of one. My first book was entitled Common Sense and a Little Fire: Working Class Women's Activism in the 20th Century U.S. This is a collective biography of four Jewish immigrant women and their work as labor organizers, lobbyists, educators and community activities. My second book, Soviet-Jewish Americans traces the mass emigration by Soviet Jews to the United States between 1972 and 2000. My forthcoming book, "Storming Caesar's Palace" traces the lives of nine African-American women born in the Mississippi Delta who became hotel maids, union activists and later welfare rights activists in, of all places, Las Vegas, Nevada. I am also co-editor of The Politics of Motherhood: Activist Voices from Left to Right, which is a collection of essays about and interviews with women who were moved by their motherhood to engage in a wide range of political activities from environmental justice work to peace activism to membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

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402 Carson Hall
HB 6107
Jewish Studies
B.A. The Evergreen State College
M.A. New York University
Ph.D. New York University

Selected Publications

Storming Caesar’s Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty , (2005).

“I Decided I’d Marry the First Man Who Asked: Gendering Black Migration From Cotton Country to the Desert Southwest” in New Directions in Modern Continental Migration , M Rodriguez, J Barton and D Gabbacia (eds.), (2005).

“Pauline Newman: Gender, Ethnicity and Radicalism,” in The Human Tradition in America 1865 to the Present , C Calhoun (ed.), 2003.

The Soviet Jewish Americans , (1999, paperback 2001).

Common Sense And A Little Fire: Women and Working Class Politics in the United States , (1995).

Works in progress

Rethinking the War on Poverty: Views from the Ground Up ; “Hurricanes, Race and Gender: New Historical Perspectives on the War on Poverty”