"Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism tells the history of Early American Jews, focusing on the objects of everyday life used and created by Jews, such as ritual baths, food, gravestones, portraits, furniture, as well as the synagogue. By uncovering these objects and exposing the common culture of the Jewish Atlantic world, the book provides a fresh understanding of a crucial era in Jewish and American history. It offers new insights about the origins of Jewish American messianism, helping readers better understand messianism in contemporary American society. It charts the shared culture of these Jews who lived in the port towns in the Caribbean and on both sides of the Atlantic, and author Laura Arnold Leibman argues that thinking about Judaism as an embodied religion is key to understanding their culture. Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism makes early Jewish American history entertaining, accessible, and interesting to general readers, as well as to academic audiences." -- Publisher's website.