Jews & Dias­po­ra Nation­al­ism: Writ­ings on Jew­ish Peo­ple­hood in Europe & The Unit­ed States

Simon Rabi­novitch, ed.
  • Review
By – March 20, 2014

Jew­ish intel­lec­tu­als spent a great deal of time dis­cussing the idea of peo­ple­hood dur­ing the late nine­teenth and ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­turies. The want­ed to pre­serve, con­struct, or trans­form the Jew­ish peo­ple. National­ists, social­ists, lib­er­als, and Zion­ists all had the­o­ries and ideas about Jew­ish exis­tence in the dias­po­ra. Simon Rabi­novitch, a pro­fes­sor of his­to­ry at Boston Uni­ver­si­ty, brings togeth­er a group of papers orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten in Russ­ian, Hebrew, French, and Eng­lish from a vari­ety of thinkers. They offer dif­fer­ing visions of people­hood from Jew­ish dias­po­ra com­mu­ni­ties in Europe and Amer­i­ca, exam­in­ing the Jew­ish expe­ri­ence in a vari­ety of envi­ron­ments: mul­ti­eth­nic empires, lib­er­al democ­ra­cies, and social­ist gov­ern­ments. Each type of govern­ment pro­vid­ed a unique atmos­phere that affect­ed Jew­ish life. These papers by schol­ars such as I. L. Peretz, Nathan Birn­baum, and Chaim Zhit­lowsky appear in a col­lec­tion for the first time. The edi­tor includes a bib­li­og­ra­phy for fur­ther reading.

Relat­ed Con­tent: Moses Mendelssohn: Writ­ings on Judaism, Chris­tian­i­ty & The Bible (edit­ed by Michah Gottlieb)

Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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