The Jews: History, Memory, and the Present (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)

The Jews: History, Memory, and the Present (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)

by Pierre Vidal-Naquet
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231102089

ISBN-13: 9780231102087

Pub. Date: 04/28/1996

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Pierre Vidal-Naquet, internationally celebrated author of Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust, here takes readers on a fascinating journey through key phases of Jewish history over more than two millennia. Drawing on a vast reservoir of historical knowledge, Vidal-Naquet unravels a series of myths and ideologies that have become entangled with…  See more details below

Overview

Pierre Vidal-Naquet, internationally celebrated author of Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust, here takes readers on a fascinating journey through key phases of Jewish history over more than two millennia. Drawing on a vast reservoir of historical knowledge, Vidal-Naquet unravels a series of myths and ideologies that have become entangled with Jewish history over the centuries. The Jews covers subjects as deep in the past as the Jewish encounter with Hellenization in the second century B.C.E., and as current as modern-day Israeli-Palestinian relations. The Jews opens in the classical period, looking in particular at the work of Flavius Josephus, who wrote the original account of the events at Masada. Resisting the powerful currents of ideological orthodoxy, Vidal-Naquet examines what he views as Israeli nationalist distortions of the historical and archaeological record at Masada. In the promotion of an ideal of Jewish unity in the ancient world, he contends, some have chosen to ignore evidence of pluralism, civil strife, and the power of the Diaspora experience in the Jewish past. The book continues with an engaging discussion of the era of Jewish emancipation in Europe, during the French Revolution and thereafter, in which Vidal-Naquet explores the complex meanings of emancipation and assimilation. Employing previously unexamined material written by Alfred Dreyfus himself, he continues with a reevaluation of the Dreyfus affair, the episode of anti-Semitism and betrayal that shook France at the turn of the century. The Jews explores books, films, and eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust, including works by Arno Mayer, Claude Lanzmann, and Primo Levi. The book looks also at a recently published wartime journal by Vidal-Naquet's father, written in the years before he was deported. Vidal-Naquet is equally concerned with the disturbing phenomenon of Holocaust denial, pointing to the question of the gas chambers as central to refuting revisio

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231102087
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
04/28/1996
Series:
European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism
Pages:
337
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.12(d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Foreword
Preface to the English-Language Edition
1Forms of Political Activity in the Jewish World, Principally Around the First Century C.E.3
2Flavius Josephus and Masada20
3Flavius Josephus and the Prophets37
4Apropos of Zakhor57
5The Privilege of Liberty63
6Dreyfus in the Affair and in History82
7Jewish Prism, Marxist Prism113
8The Hero, the Historian, and Choice127
9The Historian and the Test of Murder136
10The Shoah's Challenge to History142
11On an Interpretation of the Great Massacre: Arno Mayer and the "Final Solution"151
12And by the Power of a Word ...163
13A Wonderful School...171
14The Harmonics of Szymon Laks179
15Presentation of a Document: The Journal of Attorney Lucien Vidal-Naquet186
16Reflections at the Margins of a Tragedy203
17Return to Israel213
18"Inquiry Into a Massacre"228
19The Anti-Peace Colonists231
20Recollections of a Witness: Protestants and Jews During the Second World War in France237
Notes255
Index309

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