The Making of a Jew

The Making of a Jew

by Edgar M. Bronfman
     
 

In an anecdote-filled narrative etched with telling portraits and impressions of such figures as Gorbachev, Thatcher, Meir, Kohl, Khrushchev, Begin, Ceausescu, Rabin, Walesa, Bush, Peres, and Netanyahu, Bronfman takes us inside a life filled with events: his battles for the rights and freedom of Soviet Jews; his seminal role in unmasking Kurt Waldheim; his… See more details below

Overview

In an anecdote-filled narrative etched with telling portraits and impressions of such figures as Gorbachev, Thatcher, Meir, Kohl, Khrushchev, Begin, Ceausescu, Rabin, Walesa, Bush, Peres, and Netanyahu, Bronfman takes us inside a life filled with events: his battles for the rights and freedom of Soviet Jews; his seminal role in unmasking Kurt Waldheim; his negotiations to restore Jewish property seized by the Nazis and the Communists; his efforts to rebuild after the murderous bombings in Argentina.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
President of the World Jewish Congress since 1981, Bronfman, born in Montreal in 1929, rebelled against his Zionist father in his youth and early manhood by rejecting Judaism altogether. But Bronfman, who lives in New York City as an American citizen, did a complete turnaround by becoming president of Seagram Company Ltd., the distillery his father founded, and by actively embracing the Jewish faith. The high point of this straightforward autobiographical memoir details the WJC's detective-like exposure of ex-Austrian president Kurt Waldheim's Nazi past; the congress charged that as a German army officer, the former U.N. leader helped deport Greek Jews to Auschwitz and executed hundreds of civilians and hostages in the Balkans. Bronfman chronicles the WJC's ongoing campaign for the restitution of Jewish property stolen by the Nazis and their successors, the communists in Eastern Europe. A modest yet courageous crusader against anti-Semitism, he records his trip to Argentina, whose Jewish community has been shaken by terrorist bombings. Incisive close-ups of Lech Walesa, Golda Meir, Jesse Jackson, Pope John Paul II, Khrushchev, Yitzhak Rabin and other luminaries enliven the narrative. Bronfman discloses that his seven children married outside the faith, but most of his grandchildren are being brought up Jewish. He sets forth proposals to counteract the erosion of Judaism both in the diaspora and in Israel. Jewish Book Club alternate. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Despite its somewhat pedestrian style, this is a most interesting memoir by the scion and heir of the famous Bronfman family, owner of one of the world's largest distilleries. At present, Bronfman is chair of their mainstay, the Seagram Company, Ltd. Bronfman traces his life story, describing a rebellious, assimilationist youth running away from his ancestral Judaism to his subsequent spiritual and cultural regeneration as a religiously and politically involved Jew. The person mainly responsible for this regeneration was the late Nahum Goldmann, cofounder of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), an umbrella for Jewish organizations devoted to Zionism, charities, and the fight against anti-Semitism, who greatly influenced the course of Bronfman's life. Bronfman himself has been president of the WJC since 1981 and has been influential in furthering the causes of world Jewry and the state of Israel. His accounts of his relationships with Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Kurt Waldheim, Lech Walesa, and others are fascinating. Of interest to general readers.Robert A. Silver, formerly with Shaker Heights P.L., Ohio
Booknews
In this anecdote-filled memoir, Bronfman traces his political and spiritual evolution from his childhood to his emergence on the international stage as President of the World Jewish Congress. Double-spaced. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399142208
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
10/15/1996
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.95(d)

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