Rather, legitimate reasons for resuscitating Gentlemans Agreement within contemporary scholarship have more to do with its being embedded within its historical epoch.
Herein lies the challenge of Gentlemans Agreement for its Jewish readers and later generations of Jewish Studies scholars: Hobson's novel about anti-Semitism was strikingly unconcerned with "the Jewish experience.
36) In texts by ethnic and religious minorities, this kind of assimilation is frequently interpreted as betrayal, as literary scholar Michael Kramer notes, but Kramer offers an alternative reading of the integrationist trend in works such as Gentlemans Agreement.
39) Gentlemans Agreement also proved a creative site because of the response it generated.
The place of Gentlemans Agreement in American culture, then, was somewhat paradoxical: the book and film were considered trailblazing and not trailblazing enough, signaling a rapid shift in social norms regarding Jews, in the late 1940s.
45) As the archival evidence surrounding Gentlemans Agreement demonstrates, Hobson's novel was written with the same goals that literary scholar Jane Tomkins identifies as characteristic of the middlebrow: "in order to win the belief and influence the behavior of the widest possible audience.
Middlebrow novels such as Gentlemans Agreement helped to make anti-Semitism (and Jews) accessible to a wide American readership.
Hobson repeated this lesson in Gentlemans Agreement.
In line with cultural studies scholar Janice Radway's contention that, rather than constituting a "watered-down version of a more authentic high culture," middlebrow culture in fact creates its own "constellation of tastes, preferences, and desires," Gentlemans Agreement reveals Hobson's molding of a new American affect toward anti-Semitism among her readers.