Moses Mendelsson

Overview

Alexander Altmann's acclaimed, wide-ranging biography of Moses Mendelssohn (1729-96) was first published in 1973, but its stature as the definitive biography remains unquestioned. In fact, there has been no subsequent attempt at an intellectual biography of this towering and unusual figure: no other Jew so deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition was at the same time so much a part of the intellectual life of the German Enlightenment in the second half of the eighteenth century. As such, Moses Mendelssohn came to be...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $23.95   
  • New (3) from $42.91   
  • Used (4) from $23.95   
Sending request ...

Overview

Alexander Altmann's acclaimed, wide-ranging biography of Moses Mendelssohn (1729-96) was first published in 1973, but its stature as the definitive biography remains unquestioned. In fact, there has been no subsequent attempt at an intellectual biography of this towering and unusual figure: no other Jew so deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition was at the same time so much a part of the intellectual life of the German Enlightenment in the second half of the eighteenth century. As such, Moses Mendelssohn came to be recognized as the inaugurator of a new phase in Jewish history; all modern Jews today are in his debt.

Altmann presents Moses Mendelssohn in strictly biographical terms. He does not attempt to assess his significance with the hindsight of historical perspective nor to trace his image in subsequent generations, but rather to observe his life from the period within which it was set. Altmann has written an absorbing and compelling narrative that makes a whole epoch come alive with great drama, for Mendelssohn's life was a kaleidoscope of the European intellectual scene, Jewish and non-Jewish. As both a prominent philosopher and a believing Jew, Mendelssohn became a spokesman for the Jews and Judaism; he was one of the rare figures who become the symbol of an era. Through Altmann's skilful use of hitherto unpublished archival material, the reader is introduced to the vast array of people-men of letters, artists, politicians, scientists, philosophers, and theologians-with whom Mendelssohn was in contact, and sometimes in conflict.

What was Mendelssohn's Judaism like? To what extent did the disparate worlds of Judaism and modern Enlightenment jostle each other in his mind and to what degree could he harmonize them? These questions are not easily answered, and it is only in the aggregate of a multitude of accounts of experiences, reaction, and statements on his part that the answer is to be found. Alexander Altmann's analysis of this wealth of material is extraordinary in its discernment, subtlety, and clarity of expression.

This masterly work will be of interest not only to those who are concerned with Jewish intellectual history but also to those interested in eighteenth-century cultural and social history, philosophy and theology, literary criticism, aesthetics, and the other areas of intellectual activity in ferment at that time. The general reader will also find much of contemporary relevance in Mendelssohn's life, not only because of his exemplary devotion to reason and tolerance, but also because of his lifelong struggle with the basic dilemma of the Jew in the modern world: the attraction of assimilation versus the singularity of Jewish life, and the preservation of Jewish identity versus integration in the wider society.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781874774532
  • Publisher: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
  • Publication date: 1/31/2011
  • Series: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
  • Pages: 910
  • Product dimensions: 1.80 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)