The Jewish Past Revisited: Reflections on Modern Jewish Historians

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Overview

In this new collection of essays, contemporary historians examine the ways earlier historians have framed, written, and "made" the Jewish past. Probing the ideology and methodology of their professional predecessors, American and Israeli historians offer new perspectives on some of the central figures of twentieth-century Jewish historiography, including Gershom Scholem, S. D. Goitein, Yitzhak Baer, Elias Bickerman, and Cecil Roth, as well as the Israeli "New Historians." Through their critical examinations of the construction of the Jewish past, the contributors to this volume develop important insights into current attitudes toward the dominant canons and ideals of historical scholarship and the future of historiography. They shine new light on the formation of a historical worldview and the "making" of history.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this slim volume, Meyers (director, Ctr. for Jewish Studies, UCLA) and Ruderman (director, Ctr. for Judaic Studies, Univ. of Pennsylvania) collect ten papers delivered at the University of Pennsylvania on the historical writings on Jewish people. Focusing on a range of scholars and historians from the 19th century to the present, each paper analyzes the notions and biases that stand behind historical writing, dictate the selection of facts, and lead to interpretations and conclusions. With little else available on the subject, this supplement to critical works on Jewish history makes a valuable addition to the shelves of academic libraries and specialized collections dealing with history, Jewish studies, Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs, and humanities in the broader sense of the term.--Hayim Y. Sheynin, Gratz Coll. Lib., Melrose Park, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300072167
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: Studies in Jewish Culture and Society Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


David N. Myers is associate professor of history and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. David B. Ruderman is Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History and director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
1 Jacob Bernays, Joseph Scaliger, and Others 16
2 Subversive Catalysts: Gnosticism and Messianism in Gershom Scholem's View of Jewish Mysticism 39
3 Yitzhak Baer and the Search for Authentic Judaism 77
4 Between Diaspora and Zion: History, Memory, and the Jerusalem Scholars 88
5 Narratives of Nation Building: Major Themes in Zionist Historiography 104
6 Cecil Roth, Historian of Italian Jewry: A Reassessment 128
7 Jewish Life in the Middle Ages and the Jewish Life of Israel Abrahams 143
8 Hidden Worlds and Open Shutters: S. D. Goitein Between Judaism and Islam 163
9 Elias Bickerman on Judaism and Hellenism 199
10 In Search of Ancient Israel: Revisionism at All Costs 212
Index 235
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