Glorious, Accursed Europe: An Essay on Jewish Ambivalence

Overview

This volume offers a fascinating look at the complex relationship between Jews and Europe during the past two hundred years, and how the European Jewish and non-Jewish intelligentsia interpreted the modern Jewish experience, primarily in Germany, Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe. Beginning with premodern European attitudes toward Jews, Reinharz and Shavit move quickly to “the glorious nineteenth century,” a period in which Jewish dreams of true assimilation came up against modern antisemitism. Later ...
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Glorious, Accursed Europe

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Overview

This volume offers a fascinating look at the complex relationship between Jews and Europe during the past two hundred years, and how the European Jewish and non-Jewish intelligentsia interpreted the modern Jewish experience, primarily in Germany, Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe. Beginning with premodern European attitudes toward Jews, Reinharz and Shavit move quickly to “the glorious nineteenth century,” a period in which Jewish dreams of true assimilation came up against modern antisemitism. Later chapters explore the fin-de-siècle “crisis of modernity”; the myth of the modern European Jew; expectations and fears in the interwar period; differences between European nations in their attitude toward Jews; the views of Zionists and early settlers of Palestine and Israel toward the Europe left behind; and views of contemporary Israeli intellectuals toward Europe, including its new Muslim population—the latest incarnation of the Jewish Question in Europe.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“What this book so ably demonstrates is how deeply Jews felt that they belonged to Europe and Europe belonged to them; that Europe was their home, even in Diaspora; and they owed allegiance to their home countries because (for the first time in centuries) they felt that their countries were indeed a home. . . . This book is exhaustively researched and tightly written. It provokes debate on almost every page. One cannot read it and resist wondering which Europe resides within.”—Jewish Book Summaries

“Two highly respected authors attempted the impossible and exceeded the probable. In 196 pages of readable text, the narrative of this book flows in the manner of a sophisticated discussion between authors and readers. Reinharz and Shavit weave a wide array of intellectual streams into a coherent narrative, and the tension defined by the title works its way to the reader. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice

“[A]s a kind of encyclopedia of responses [to Jewish thinkers], [Glorious, Accursed Europe] is an extremely useful bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and it is unsurpassed. When readers have finished, they will have moved beyond old generalities to a finely detailed portrait of Jewish intellectuals wrestling with European culture, their own Western heritage (such as it was), and the moral implications of it all. This is a fully satisfying work, and belongs on the bookshelf of every scholar of the modern European Jewish experience.”—H-JUDAIC

“An intensive collection of contemporary thinkers are presented to elucidate the theoretical dialectics of the rise of Europe and its decline, the place of Jew as the Ur-Modern European as well as pariah, America as philistine and light unto the nations, and finally, the rise of the new anti-Semitism and apprehension over Europe’s future Islamification.”—Jewish Book World

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JEHUDA REINHARZ is the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History at Brandeis University. YAACOV SHAVIT is a Professor in the Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Europe Discovers Itself, Jews Discover Europe
The Glorious Nineteenth Century—Europe as Promised Land
The Accursed Century—Europe as an Ailing Culture
The Emergence of the Modern European Jew
Antisemitism as an Incurable European Disease
Old Europe or New Europe?
Manifold Europes
I Am in the East, and My Heart Is in the West
Europeanness and Anti-Europeanness in Palestine
Europe, Old or New?
Conclusion – Between “Real Europe” and the “European Spirit”
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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