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Lisa  T. Sarasohn  wrote
                                             Getting Under Our  Skin:   David  Sarasohn and Gregg Coodley  co-authored  The
                                             The Cultural and Social His-  Green Years, 1964-1976: When Democrats and Republi-
                                             tory of Vermin.          cans United to Repair the Earth.
                                             Three locals pen two books on

                                             vermin and the environment


                                              Two new books written by members of   From eighteenth-century  London mer-
                                             Portland’s Jewish community  were pub-  chants  anointing  their  carved  bedsteads
        Free screening of                    lished in September.                 with roasted cat to repel bedbugs to mod-
                                              Lisa T. Sarasohn’s Getting Under Our Skin:  ern-day hedge fund managers hoping
        “Upheaval: The Journey               The Cultural and Social History of Vermin  neighbors  won’t  notice  exterminators  in
        of Menachem Begin”                   was published by Johns Hopkins Universi-  their  penthouses,  the  studies  in this  book
                                             ty Press Sept. 21. Lisa is Professor Emerita  reveal  that  vermin  continue  to fuel  our
         Congregation  Neveh Shalom, Israel 360  of history at Oregon State University.   prejudices and threaten our status. Getting
        and the Jewish Federation of Greater Port-  Lisa’s husband, David Sarasohn, and  Under Our Skin will appeal to cultural his-
        land invite you to a free online screening of  Gregg Coodley  co-authored  The Green  torians, naturalists and to anyone who has
        the documentary “Upheaval: The Journey  Years, 1964-1976: When Democrats and  ever scratched – and then gazed in horror.
        of Menachem  Begin”  to  be enjoyed  any-  Republicans United to Repair the Earth,   In The Green Years, 1964-1976, Gregg and
        time between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5. A free  which was published by University Press  David offer the first comprehensive history
        Zoom  discussion  with  the  film’s  director,  of Kansas Sept. 30, 2021. After a stint as   of the period when the
        Jonathan Gruber, will be at 7 pm, Nov. 4.    a history professor at Reed College and a     United States created
         Watch the incredible life story of former  magazine editor, David joined the Orego-       the legislative, legal
        Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin  nian in 1983. When he retired, he was the           and   administrative
        – imprisoned by the  Soviets, orphaned  newspaper’s Associate  Editor. Gregg is a          structures for environ-
        by the Holocaust, crowned Peacemaker  physician and the Medical Director at the            mental protection that
        by the Nobel Prize Committee – in this  Fanno Creek Clinic.                                are still in place over
        captivating  documentary.  With evoca-  David  recently  finished  his  second  term       50 years later.  They
        tive  imagery, rarely seen archival  mate-  on the board of Congregation Beth Israel,      tell  a  dramatic  story
        rials and revealing interviews  with those  where all three authors have been members.     of cultural change,
        who knew him, Upheaval portrays the   In Getting Under Our Skin, Lisa tells the            grassroots  activism
        life  and essence  of this brilliant,  tough,  fascinating  story of how vermin came  to  and political leadership that led to the pas-
        complex,  loving and proud man, who  signify the individ-                 sage of a host of laws attacking pollution
        never  compromised  when the  survival  uals and classes that             under President Johnson.  With Stewart

        of Israel and the Jewish people  were at  society impugns and             Udall as secretary of the interior, the Wil-
        stake.  View a trailer  for the movie  at  ostracizes.  How did           derness Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

        youtube.com/watch?v=dVhgEpeEJrg      these  creatures  go                 and other land-protection  measures were
         Jonathan Gruber has been directing, writ-  from annoyance to so-         passed, and the department shifted its fo-
        ing and producing award-winning docu-  cial stigma? And how               cus to broader national conservation issues.
        mentary films for more than 20 years. His  did people thought of          The fast-paced story the authors tell is not
        documentaries include “Miriam Beerman:  as verminous come to              only about the Democratic Party; in this era,
        Expressing the Chaos,” “Follow Me,”  be considered almost                 there was still a vital Republican conserva-
        “Life Is a Banquet,” “Jewish Soldiers in  a  species  of vermin           tion tradition. In both the House and Senate
        Blue & Gray,” “STU” and “Pola’s March”  themselves? Focusing on Great Britain and  and in the Nixon and Ford administrations,
        He was also the co-creator and executive  North  America, Sarasohn explains how  Republicans played vital roles. President
        producer of the MSNBC series “The Story  the label “vermin” makes dehumanization  Nixon established the Environmental Pro-
        of Cool.”                            and violence possible. She describes how  tection  Agency  and  signed into law the
         To reserve your space for the Zoom dis-  Cromwellians in Ireland and the U.S. cav-  1970 Clean Air Act, revisions in 1972 to the
        cussion and receive the links to the movie,  alry on the American frontier both justified  Clean Water Act and the 1973 Endangered
        please register at jewishportland.org/movie.  slaughter by warning “Nits grow into lice.”  Species  Act. Under Nixon, actions were
         For questions, contact  Rachel  Nelson at  Nazis not only labeled  Jews as vermin,  taken to protect the oceans, forests, coast-
        rachel@jewishportland.org or 503-892-  they used insecticides in the gas chambers  al zones and grasslands while regulating
        7415.                                to kill them during the Holocaust.   chemicals, pesticides and garbage.
        6 Jewish Review Oct. 13, 2021
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