The question of how to preserve, construct or transform Jewish peoplehood consumed Jewish intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite a rich array of writing from Jewish nationalists, liberals, and socialists about the vitality of Jewish existence in the diaspora, the key works have never been collected in a single volume, and few reliable English translations exist.
This anthology brings together a variety of thinkers who offered competing visions of peoplehood within the established and developing Jewish diaspora centers of Europe and America. Writing in Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, French, and English, these Jewish intellectuals sought to recast Jewish existence, whether within multiethnic empires, liberal democracies, or socialist forms of government, in national terms.
Volume editor Simon Rabinovitch provides an introductory essay, as well as short introductions and annotations to each document that contextualize and make accessible this wealth of primary sources for scholars and students.
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 449 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
This excellent reader takes on an important but often neglected theme in modern Jewish history: the efflorescence of theories of Jewish ethnic nationalism from the later 19th century until after WW II. . . . The writings included in this volume are almost all by secular intellectuals involved in the fine-de-siecle political turmoil in Eastern Europe, plus several Jewish figures who conceived of an American cultural pluralism that would make room for a suitably modernized Jewish cultural tradition. . . . Although the volume concerns ideologies passionately held at the time they were written, the editor s tone and approach is above partisanship. . . . Recommended. Choice"
This is a valuable collection of primary source essays devoted to the theme of Jewish peoplehood outside the state of Israel. . . . Editor Simon Rabinovitch is to be commended for his imaginative selection of these little-known essays, for commissioning the translation of the ones not written in English, and for his erudite elucidation of their often obscure contexts and references. Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews"
Simon Rabinovitch s edited text Jews & Diaspora Nationalism presents the views of key late 19th and early-mid 20th century Jewish nationalists, liberals and socialists such as Dubnov, Zhitlovsky, the famous Yiddish writer Peretz and the Bundist leader Medem on how to preserve Jewish national life in the variouscentersof the Diaspora. Jewish Quarterly"
It is indeed possible, as Rabinovitch insists, to imagine a different history than the one we have had. And even for those who see little value in such counterfactual speculations, it remains interesting to discover the intricate and often surprising connections between Zionism, autonomism, and territorialism. Jewish Review of Books"