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.
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