After the discovery of vast diamond deposits in South Africa in 1869, the transatlantic trade in diamonds accelerated precipitously. The majority of extracted rough stones were sent via London to Amsterdam, where they were cleaved, cut, and polished by working-class Jews and non-Jews in factories across the city. The diamond became highly significant in nineteenth-century Amsterdam Jewish life, providing economic sustenance to a solid 50 percent of the Jewish population who prepared diamonds as articles of conspicuous consumption to meet the sharp rise in demand from foreign, bourgeois customers. Manufacturing and trade also stimulated Jewish socioeconomic mobility and the formation of the prominent Dutch Diamond Workers' Union (the ANDB), the largest labor organization in the Netherlands.
Jewish Social Studies plays an important role in advancing the understanding of Jewish life and the Jewish past. Key themes are issues of identity and peoplehood, the vistas opened by the integration of gender as a primary category in the study of history, and the multiplicities inherent in the evolution of Jewish societies and cultures around the world and over time. Regular features include work in anthropology, politics, sociology, religion, and literature, as well as case studies and theoretical discussions, all of which serve to rechart the boundaries of Jewish historical scholarship.
Indiana University Press was founded in 1950 and is today recognized internationally as a leading academic publisher specializing in the humanities and social sciences. As an academic press, our mandate is to serve the world of scholarship and culture as a professional, not-for-profit publisher. We publish books and journals that will matter 20 or even a hundred years from now – titles that make a difference today and will live on into the future through their reverberations in the minds of teachers and writers. IU Press's major subject areas include African, African American, Asian, cultural, Jewish and Holocaust, Middle East, Russian and East European, and women's and gender studies; anthropology, film, history, bioethics, music, paleontology, philanthropy, philosophy, and religion. The Press also features an extensive regional publishing program under its Quarry Books imprint. It is one of the largest public university presses, as measured by titles and income level.