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God Bless AmericaThe Surprising History of an Iconic Song$
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Sheryl Kaskowitz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199919772

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199919772.001.0001

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Land That I Love

Land That I Love

Early Embrace, Critique, and Backlash

(p.50) Chapter 3 Land That I Love
God Bless America

Sheryl Kaskowitz

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 highlights the early reception of “God Bless America” during the period leading up to the United States’ entry into World War II, considering how the song’s popularity was a response to the public mood of anxiety and fear in response to the Depression and looming war. Of course, there was dissent against the song from the beginning, from those on the left who felt it glossed over the country’s problems with simple jingoism and religiosity, to an anti-Semitic and xenophobic backlash against it because of its composer’s ethnic identity as a Jewish immigrant.

Keywords:   God Bless America, reception, World War II, Depression, popularity, jingoism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Irving Berlin, Jewish, immigrant

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