Historically leftist ideas and theories have had a profound impact on modern Jewish life. But, the left's impact on the Jewish community has greatly diminished today. Nonetheless, it can still be detected in the tendency of American Jews to vote for the liberal camp. This political tendency has also influenced Jewish communities actions as illustrated by the large numbers of Jews who participated in the civil rights movements of the post-World War II period and in the so-called new Left.
Essential Papers on Jews and the Left presents a sweeping portrait of the defining impact of the left on modern Jewish politics and culture in Europe, Palestine/Israel, and the New World. The contributions in the first part, entitled The Jewish Left, discuss specifically Jewish radical organizations such as the Bund and Poale Zion. The second section, Jews in the Left, explores the activities of Jews in general left wing politics, emphasizing their role in the Russian revolutionary movement. In the final section, The Left and the Jews, the essays examine the attitudes of the left in Europe and America toward the Jewish question, including the key issue of Karl Marx and his reputedly anti-Jewish attitudes.