Winner of the 1997 National Jewish Book Award for Jewish History
A comprehensive historical survey of the Jewish presence in Central Europe from the seventeenth century to the Holocaust, German-Jewish History in Modern Times is a four-volume collective project by a team of leading scholars, offering a vivid portrait of Jewish History. The series is sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute, established in 1955 in Jerusalem, London, and New York for the purpose of advancing scholarship on the Jews in German-speaking lands. Integration in Dispute 1871-1918 comprises the third volume and focuses on a period of political, economic, and social change that fundamentally transformed German Jewry.
Eminent scholars consider a broad range of topics: religious and cultural life, demographics, political, legal, and socioeconomic status, relations between Jews and non-Jews, and Jewish participation in the larger context of European history.
Volume 3 begins with the establishment of civil equality for Jews in Germany and Austria-Hungary and describes the complexities of their economic and social integration. The contributors explore the challenges that confronted Jews as they encountered both unprecedented opportunities and continued resistance to their full emancipation and participation in public life. The book discusses their standing as a minority group within German political and professional life and as a differentiated portion of the German middle class; how they coped with successive waves of political antisemitism; how they continued to adapt traditional religious practices to modernity; and how urban middle-class life transformed Jewish families as well as the role of Jewish women in the domestic and public spheres. The forces of social change, coupled with the persistence of antisemitism formed the context for the emergence of Zionism, which posed a powerful challenge to the dominant principle of integration. This volume also seeks to understand the nature and timing of the exceptional contributions of German Jews to the thriving modern culture of such cities as late imperial Vienna and Berlin as well as to the specific religious culture of Judaism.
Each volume includes a bibliographical essay referring readers to the most important secondary literature, a chronology covering the major events discussed, and a series of maps and illustrations. Encompassing the most up-to-date research on the topic, German Jewish History in Modern Times is an achievement to be valued by historians, educators, and any reader seeking to understand the singular heritage of the Jewish people in Central Europe.
-"Michael Meyer, arguably the dean of German-Jewish historians, has
assembled a superb team of scholars for an ambitious work of synthesis: a
projected four-volume history of German Jewry in modern times. The
opening volume ranges broadly over the transitional period to
modernity--from the close of the Middle Ages to the French Revolution. Of
particular interest, among a cross-section of fascinating topics covered,
are the changing position and status of Jewish women in Germany and
discovery of the new understanding and meaning of childhood and
children's education within the German-Jewish Enlightenment. Readers will
eagerly look forward to future volumes in this series." - Jewish Book World -"The tone is sober, the judgments balanced, the coverage comprehensive,
and the learning impressive." -Jewish Chronicle -"The extraordinary significance of this work cannot be questioned . . . . One can speak with complete justification of a major historigraphical event." - Die Zeit -"[The work] has an engaging note of commitment. The result is a narrative - sensitively translated - that is judicious but always absorbing. . . . The enterprise will be judged a brilliant success." - Times Literary Supplement