OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Daniel Greene

Portrait of Daniel Greene

Daniel Greene is President and Librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago and adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University. In 2018, he curated Americans and the Holocaust, an exhibition that opened at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, to commemorate its twenty-fifth anniversary. Greene’s book, The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity (2011), won the American Jewish Historical Society's Saul Viener Prize. He is also a coauthor and coeditor of Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (2013), a book accompanying a collaborative exhibition between the Newberry Library and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Greene earned his PhD at the University of Chicago.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Americans and the Holocaust provides a portrait of American society during the 1930s and ‘40s, examining how the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism, and antisemitism shaped responses to Nazism and the Holocaust. Greene examines how much information about the threat of Nazism was available to Americans at the time and asks why rescuing Jews did not become a priority.
Exploration of American immigration policies during the 1930s and personal stories of refugees who were trying to escape Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.
Daniel Greene traces the emergence of the idea of cultural pluralism to the lived experiences of a group of Jewish college students and public intellectuals, including the philosopher Horace M. Kallen. These young Jews faced particular challenges as they sought to integrate themselves into the American academy and literary world of the early 20th century. At Harvard University, they founded an influential student organization known as the Menorah Association in 1906 and later the Menorah Journal, which became a leading voice of Jewish public opinion in the 1920s. In response to the idea that the American melting pot would erase all cultural differences, the Menorah Association advocated a pluralist America that would accommodate a thriving Jewish culture while bringing Jewishness into mainstream American life.
An exploration of how sociologist Louis Wirth and artist Todros Geller portrayed a nostalgic vision of Chicago's Maxwell Street district during the 1920s.