Jews in Polish Culture

Jews in Polish Culture

by Aleksander Hertz, Richard Lourie, Czeslaw Milosz, Lucjan Dobroszycki

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The author's marginal position in the Polish-Jewish context, his experience of American society and his sociological equipment and profound insight have enabled him to produce work of unique character and intellectual quality. It is a must for all those interested in Poland, Polish Jewry, and inter-ethnic relations in general." —Dr. Lukasz Hirszowicz, Soviet-Jewish Affairs

"A richly perceptive sociological consideration of the Jewish community as a caste in 19th- and early-20th-century Poland. . . . A book that should be part of any study of modern Polish culture or Diaspora Jewry." —Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although only a handful live in Poland today, ``for a thousand years Jews had been one of the important elements in Polish life,'' asserts the late Hertz, a noted Polish-Jewish sociologist, in this excellent overview that contends that the Jews in Poland displayed the principal traits characteristic of a caste group. He explains the dynamics of the Jew in a hostile world (his theories of the ``kindred and the alien'' and the ``caste system''), the ambivalent image of the Jew (a ``swindler'' and ``bloodsucker'' yet intelligent and all-knowing), how assimilation occurred, benefiting both the Poles (culturally) and the Jews (facilitating a Jewish national rebirth), and how little the Poles knew of the actual life of this strong presence in their world. While it offers comparisons between the position of blacks in America and the situation of the Jews in Poland that are anachronistic today, more than 25 years after its original publication, and it assumes some knowledge of Polish history because it was written for a Polish audience, the intelligent work will be enjoyable and accessible for American readers. (August)

Product Details

Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
Jewish Lives Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Aleksander Hertz (1895-1983) was a Polish sociologist.

Lucjan Dobroszycki (1925-95) was a Polish historian and survivor of Auschwitz. He focused on modern Polish and Polish-Jewish history.

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