Tearing Down Prague's Jewish Town: Ghetto-Clearance and the Legacy of Middle-Class Ethnic Politics around 1900

Tearing Down Prague's Jewish Town: Ghetto-Clearance and the Legacy of Middle-Class Ethnic Politics around 1900

by Cathleen M. Giustino
     
 

In 1887 the middle-class Czechs dominating Prague's City Hall announced that they had a plan for the large-scale destruction and reconstruction of the city's former Jewish ghetto. The plan, involving the razing of nearly all of the roughly 260 buildings inside the ghetto, was carried out in the name of sanitation. To fund this ambitious project, city officials

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Overview

In 1887 the middle-class Czechs dominating Prague's City Hall announced that they had a plan for the large-scale destruction and reconstruction of the city's former Jewish ghetto. The plan, involving the razing of nearly all of the roughly 260 buildings inside the ghetto, was carried out in the name of sanitation. To fund this ambitious project, city officials borrowed a vast sum of money. They also expelled the area's impoverished residents from their homes without making any effort to secure new affordable housing for them.

This book examines the social and ethnic interest-group struggles that fueled this project, suggesting possible continuities between nineteenth-century politics and twentieth-century authoritarianism. Giustino shows how middle class officials who held nineteenth-century liberal values shrewdly used municipal power to pursue their group interests, sometimes at the expense of outsiders, and in the process, contributed to persistent anti-Semitism.

East European Monographs

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
It covers complex topics—Czech liberalism, the growth of municipal government, the emergence of historic preservationism, and even Prague's toilets and sewers—clearly and subtly.

— Jeremy King, Mount Holyoke College

History
We should be grateful for the fact that some publishers... still allow the publication of highly specialized monographs. Cathleen Giustino's book... provides a case in point.

— Panikos Panayi

Central European History
Giustino has produced an illuminating study... The result is a fascinating discussion of the interconnected liberal politics.

— Nancy M. Wingfield

Austrian History Yearbook
A well researched and highly interesting study.

— Peter Bugge

Journal of Modern History
This is a book that historians both of Czech nation building and of urban transformation in Europe will find engaging.

— Eagle Glassheim

American Historical Review - Jeremy King
It covers complex topics—Czech liberalism, the growth of municipal government, the emergence of historic preservationism, and even Prague's toilets and sewers—clearly and subtly.

History - Panikos Panayi
We should be grateful for the fact that some publishers... still allow the publication of highly specialized monographs. Cathleen Giustino's book... provides a case in point.

Central European History - Nancy M. Wingfield
Giustino has produced an illuminating study... The result is a fascinating discussion of the interconnected liberal politics.

Austrian History Yearbook - Peter Bugge
A well researched and highly interesting study.

Journal of Modern History - Eagle Glassheim
This is a book that historians both of Czech nation building and of urban transformation in Europe will find engaging.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780880335164
Publisher:
East European Monographs
Publication date:
01/14/2004
Series:
East European Monographs
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.22(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Cathleen M. Giustino is associate professor of history at Auburn University in Alabama.

East European Monographs

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