(JTA) — Leonard Dinnerstein, a historian who specialized in the study anti-Semitism in the United States, died at the age of 84.

Dinnerstein died at his home in Tucson, Arizona on Jan. 22 of natural causes, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Dinnerstein’s doctoral dissertation in the 1960s was on the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager in Atlanta.

He concluded in his scholarly work that antisemitism had become “an irrevocable part of the American heritage.”

Professor Dinnerstein’s thesis was published in 1968 by Columbia University Press, titled simply “The Leo Frank Case.” It has never been out of print.

“The book launched my professional academic career in 1968,” he wrote in the preface to a 2008 revised edition.

One of his most authoritative works was “Anti-Semitism in America,” the Times noted. In that book from 1994, he argued that age-old European prejudice against Jews was instilled in the New World by the earliest settlers, reinforced by successive waves of Protestant and Roman Catholic immigrants and ingrained as “an irrevocable part of the American heritage.”

The book has been regarded as the definitive examination of American antisemitism and was cited in 2017 by the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing on antisemitism on college campuses, the Times also noted.


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