During his long career, Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise received letters
with only two words written on the envelope: "Rabbi USA." But the
United States Postal Service was never in doubt about the intended
recipient: there was only one "Rabbi USA." No other rabbi before or
since Wise has dominated the American and the international scene
with such passion and power. Both his admirers and opponents-there
was no shortage of either group-acknowledged him as the premier
leader of the American Jewish community and a major political
figure. Pillar of Fire goes behind the headlines and the
once-closed archives of the White House and the State Department to
reveal the complex and controversial personal relationship between
Wise and President Franklin D. Roosevelt when millions of lives
hung in the balance during the Holocaust. It also explores Wise's
remarkable relationships with both President Woodrow Wilson and
United States Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. Finally, the
book describes how Wise's extraordinary actions in the realm of
social justice and human rights permanently influenced every
clergyperson, seminary, and house of worship in America.
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