Page 201 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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ceive far more publicity for his defenses o f the faith than did any
other American Jew o f his time.
JOURNAL IST IC ACT IV ITY
Despite the success o f his
Travels,
Noah wrote no other books.
He compiled a volume o f his newspaper columns (1820, rev.
1845), and he published an American edition o f Moses Samuel’s
translation o f the
Book ofjasher
(1840). But otherwise he confined
himself to pamphlets, published lectures, and the forum he liked
best: the press.13During his long tenure on New York’s newspa­
per row, Noah edited some o f America’s leading dailies:
The New
York National Advocate, The Enquirer,
and
The Evening Star.
He also
edited the
Sunday Times and Noah’s Weekly Messenger,
one o f the
first Sunday newspapers in America, and one designed to be a
family newspaper, “received and approved in circles where no
Sunday publication had penetrated before.” 14 Noah rarely con­
cerned himself with two trends revolutionizing American jour­
nalism in his day: increasing speed and decreasing price. He left
the scoops and the scandal to the
Sun
and the
Herald',
meanwhile,
he concentrated on quality. “It is the business o f a newspaper,” he
wrote, “to tell its readers o f everything
new,
which transpires in
the world, and more especially o f that sort o f
newness,
which car­
ries with it utility and value . . . It is our business, as editors, to
make known such occurrences as shall have an influence, and a
beneficial influence too.” 15
Noah remains best known for his Jewish writings: his pub­
lished lectures, pronouncements, and newspaper articles that
aimed to improve both the image o f Jews in the eyes o f Gentiles,
and the condition o f Jews worldwide. As early as in his
Corre­
spondence and Documents
(1816), echoing themes he had previ­
ously expressed in private letters to government officials, Noah
trumpeted the loyalty and patriotism o f American Jews:
The citizens o f the United States, who profess the Hebrew
13 For a complete bibliography o f Noah’s writings, seeJacob Blanck,
Bibliography
o f American Literature
(New Haven, 1973), vol. 6, pp. 447-454; with the several
corrections noted in Sarna,
Jacksonian Jew,
p. 215.
14
Sunday Times and Noah’s Weekly Messenger
(March 28, 1852), p. 2.
15
New York Enquirerfo r the Country
(November 17, 1827), p. 2; Sarna,
Jacksonian
Jew,
pp. 5-6, 35-38, 77-80, 97-99.
SARNA /TH E LITERARY CONTRIBUTIONS OF NOAH
193