A national bestseller, this brilliant 4000 year survey covers not only Jewish history but he impact of Jewish genius and imagination on the world. By the author of Modern Times: The World From the Twenties to the Eighties.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series A dandy, a best-selling novelist, and a man of political and sexual intrigue, Benjamin Disraeli was one of the most captivating figures of the nineteenth century. His flirtation with proto-Zionism, his ideas about power and empire, and his fantasies about the Middle East remain prophetically relevant today. How a man who was born a Jew--and who remained in the eyes of his countrymen a member of a despised minority--managed to become prime minister of England seems even today nothing short of miraculous. In this compelling biography, renowned poet and critic Adam Kirsch looks at Disraeli as a novelist as well as a statesman, recognizing that the outsider Jew who became one of the world's most powerful men was his own greatest character. Though baptized by his father at the age of twelve, Disraeli was seen--and saw himself--as a Jew. But her created an idea of Jewishness to rival the British notion of aristocracy. Disraeli was a figure of fascinating contradictions: an archconservative who benefited from England's liberal attitudes, a baptized Christian who saw Jewishness as a matter of racial superiority, a perennial outsider who dreamed of glory for England, which, in the words of one contemporary, became for Disraeli "the Israel of his imagination." From the Hardcover edition.
Benjamin Disraeli utilizes previously ignored or little known sources to provide new insights into how one of the most famous Jewish converts was viewed by the Jewish community he ignored and by the larger Christian world that would not accept him. This book shows how a myth can take on a life of its own in the collective memory of the Jewish people, as well as in the thought processes of a variety of anti-Semitic groups. Its fresh approach to the life and lore of a colorful Victorian figure also raises the issue of ethnic identity and minority acceptance in our pluralistic society.
This authoritative and comprehensive guide to key people and events in Anglo-Jewish history stretches from Cromwell's re-admittance of the Jews in 1656 to the present day and contains nearly 3000 entries, the vast majority of which are not featured in any other sources.
A panoramic and provocative history of life in Palestine during the three strife-torn but romantic decades when Britain ruled and the seeds of today's conflicts were sown Tom Segev's acclaimed works, 1949 and The Seventh Million, overturned accepted views of the history of Israel. Now Segev explores the dramatic period before the creation of the state, when Britain ruled over "one Palestine, complete" (as noted in the receipt signed by the High Commissioner) and when its promise to both Jews and Arabs that they would inherit the land set in motion the conflict that haunts the region to this day. Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials, Segev reconstructs a tumultuous era (1917 to 1948) of limitless possibilities and tragic missteps. He introduces the legendary figures--General Allenby, Lawrence of Arabia, David Ben-Gurion--as well as an array of pioneers, secret agents, diplomats, and fanatics. He tracks the steady advance of Jews and Arabs toward confrontation and with his hallmark originality puts forward a radical new argument: that the British, far from being pro-Arab, as commonly thought, consistently favored the Zionist position, and did so out of the mistaken--and anti-Semitic belief that Jews turned the wheels of history. Rich in unforgettable characters, sensitive to all perspectives, One Palestine, Complete brilliantly depicts the decline of an empire, the birth of one nation, and the tragedy of another.
A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year A New Republic Best Book of the Year Finalist, National Jewish Book Award Sir Moses Montefiore (1784–1885) was the preeminent Jewish figure of the nineteenth century—and one of the first truly global celebrities. His story, told here in full for the first time, is a remarkable and illuminating tale.
This book describes the most important events and people in Jewish history from Abraham to the present day, in a very concise, accessible way. These read-bites include up-to-date essays discussing the impact of 9-11; the Iraq War, Muslim fundamentalism, and rise of European anti-Semitism on the Jewish people.
Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880–1940) was a man of huge paradoxes and contradictions and has been the most misunderstood of all Zionist politicians--a first-rate novelist, a celebrated Russian journalist, and the founder of the branch of Zionism now headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. This biography, the first in English in nearly two decades, undertakes to answer central questions about Jabotinsky as a writer, a political thinker, and a leader. Hillel Halkin sets aside the stereotypes to which Jabotinsky has been reduced by his would-be followers and detractors alike. Halkin explains the importance of Odessa, Jabotinsky’s native city, in molding his character and outlook; discusses his novels and short stories, showing the sometimes hidden connections between them and Jabotinsky’s political thought, and studies a political career that ended in tragic failure. Halkin also addresses Jabotinsky’s position, unique among the great figures of Zionist history, as both a territorial maximalist and a principled believer in democracy. The author inquires why Jabotinsky was often accused of fascist tendencies though he abhorred authoritarian and totalitarian politics, and investigates the many opposed aspects of his personality and conduct while asking whether or not they had an ultimate coherence. Few figures in twentieth-century Jewish life were quite so admired and loathed, and Halkin’s splendid, subtle book explores him with empathy and lucidity.
An insightful study of the inner life of the Zionist leader responsible for the creation of the state of Israel
Lauded as a “great Jew,” excoriated by antisemites, and one of Britain’s most renowned prime ministers, Benjamin Disraeli has been widely celebrated for his role in Jewish history. But is the perception of him as a Jewish hero accurate? In what ways did he contribute to Jewish causes? In this groundbreaking, lucid investigation of Disraeli’s life and accomplishments, David Cesarani draws a new portrait of one of Europe’s leading nineteenth-century statesmen, a complicated, driven, opportunistic man. While acknowledging that Disraeli never denied his Jewish lineage, boasted of Jewish achievements, and argued for Jewish civil rights while serving as MP, Cesarani challenges the assumption that Disraeli truly cared about Jewish issues. Instead, his driving personal ambition required him to confront his Jewishness at the same time as he acted opportunistically. By creating a myth of aristocratic Jewish origins for himself, and by arguing that Jews were a superior race, Disraeli boosted his own career but also contributed to the consolidation of some of the most fundamental stereotypes of modern antisemitism.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestselling author of Alexander Hamilton, the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical, comes this definitive biography of the Warburgs, one of the great German-Jewish banking families of the twentieth century. Bankers, philanthropists, scholars, socialites, artists, and politicians, the Warburgs stood at the pinnacle of German (and, later, of German-American) Jewry. They forged economic dynasties, built mansions and estates, assembled libraries, endowed charities, and advised a German kaiser and two American presidents. But their very success made the Warburgs lightning rods for anti-Semitism, and their sense of patriotism became increasingly dangerous in a Germany that had declared Jews the enemy. Ron Chernow's hugely fascinating history is a group portrait of a clan whose members were renowned for their brilliance, culture, and personal energy yet tragically vulnerable to the dark and irrational currents of the twentieth century.
This exhaustive, full-scale biography of the twentieth centurys most dedicated Gentile fighter against antisemitism is a key resource for those who would like to learn more of Parkes the man and his work in reconciling Christianity and Judaism. Virtually alone among Christians, James Parkes could audaciously announce to a Jewish audience that he spoke also as a Jew and be greeted not by suspicion but by applause. From his birthplace on the island of Guernsey, the book focuses on the formative influences on this important but neglected thinker. Tracing his career as a maverick historian and clergyman, it does not neglect to analyze how his ideas and commitments interacted with the twists and turns of his personal life.
A long-time editor of the new Penguin Modern Classics translations of Sigmund Freud offers a fresh look at the father of psychoanalysis.
Current notions of nationhood, communal identity, territorial entitlement, and collective destiny are deeply rooted in historic interpretations of the Bible. Interweaving elements of history, theology, literary criticism, and cultural theory, the essays in this volume discuss the ways in which biblical understandings have shaped Western – and particularly European and North American – assumptions about the nature and meaning of the nation. Part of the Green College Lecture Series, this wide-ranging collection moves from the earliest Pauline and Rabbinic exegesis through Christian imperial and missionary narratives of the late Roman, medieval, and early modern periods to the entangled identity politics of 'mainstream' nineteenth-and twentieth-century North America. Taken together, the essays show that, while theories of globalization, postmodernism, and postcolonialism have all offered critiques of identity politics and the nation-state, the global present remains heavily informed by biblical-historical intuitions of nationhood.
According to Jeffrey Rosen, Louis D. Brandeis was “the Jewish Jefferson,” the greatest critic of what he called “the curse of bigness,” in business and government, since the author of the Declaration of Independence. Published to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation on June 1, 1916, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet argues that Brandeis was the most farseeing constitutional philosopher of the twentieth century. In addition to writing the most famous article on the right to privacy, he also wrote the most important Supreme Court opinions about free speech, freedom from government surveillance, and freedom of thought and opinion. And as the leader of the American Zionist movement, he convinced Woodrow Wilson and the British government to recognize a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Combining narrative biography with a passionate argument for why Brandeis matters today, Rosen explores what Brandeis, the Jeffersonian prophet, can teach us about historic and contemporary questions involving the Constitution, monopoly, corporate and federal power, technology, privacy, free speech, and Zionism.