Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question

Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question

by Eliza Slavet
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

What makes a person Jewish? Why do some people feel they have physically inherited the memories of their ancestors? Is there any way to think about race without reducing it to racism or to physical differences? These questions are at the heart of Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question. In his final book, Moses and Monotheism, Freud hinted at the

…  See more details below

Overview

What makes a person Jewish? Why do some people feel they have physically inherited the memories of their ancestors? Is there any way to think about race without reducing it to racism or to physical differences? These questions are at the heart of Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question. In his final book, Moses and Monotheism, Freud hinted at the complexities of Jewishness and insisted that Moses was really an Egyptian. Slavet moves far beyond debates about how Freud felt about Judaism; instead, she explores what he wrote about Jewishness: what it is, how it is transmitted, and how it has survived.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Slavet examines Sigmund Freud's final book, Moses and Monotheism, and its baffling contention that an unconscious historical memory as deeply rooted as any genetic inheritance explains the dogged persistence of the Jewish people.-Harpers Magazine

Eliza Slavet's Racial Fever: Freud and the Jewish Question (Fordham, September), Freud understood Jewishness as inherited, genealogically, and that he believed a form of memory passes physically-without the conscious knowledge of its recipients-from one generation to the next. Slavet parses these difficult claims, arguing that they shed light on some contemporary debates about Jewish identity.-Josh Lambert

Eliza Slavet offers a brilliant reading of Freud's Moses and Monotheism as the prism with which to view modern Jewish ideas of race and inherited identity. By situating Freud's last book in this larger field, she sheds new light on how Jews have struggled to define a Jewishness that is beyond religion. Stylistically riveting, Racial Fever makes a major contribution to modern Jewish history, cultural studiesand European intellectual history.-David Biale

". . . Smart and engaging."-Shofar

"Timely and provocative, this book will interest anyone who wants to understand why we continue to think about the question of who's a Jew and what this has to do with Sigmund Freud."-Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer

"Racial Fever shows that although there are dangers connected with using racial language when considering the question of Jewish difference, ignoring them is even more dangerous. It only makes those appeals more powerful and keeps the fever burning."—AJS

" . . . a fine addition to the literature on Freud's engagement with Jewishness, and to the politics of psychoanalysis."-Stephen Frosh, Psychoanalysis and History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823231430
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

ELIZA SLAVET received her Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, San Diego.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >