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A History of the Jews in the Modern Worldby Howard M. Sachar
Synopses & Reviews
The distinguished historian of the Jewish people, Howard M. Sachar, gives us a comprehensive and enthralling chronicle of the achievements and traumas of the Jews over the last four hundred years.
Tracking their fate from Western Europe’s age of mercantilism in the seventeenth century to the post-Soviet and post-imperialist Islamic upheavals of the twenty-first century, Sachar applies his renowned narrative skill to the central role of the Jews in many of the most impressive achievements of modern civilization: whether in the rise of economic capitalism or of political socialism; in the discoveries of theoretical physics or applied medicine; in “higher” literary criticism or mass communication and popular entertainment.
As his account unfolds and moves from epoch to epoch, from continent to continent, from Europe to the Americas and the Middle East, Sachar evaluates communities that, until lately, have been underestimated in the perspective of Jewish and world history—among them, Jews of Sephardic provenance, of the Moslem regions, and of Africa. By the same token, Sachar applies a master’s hand in describing and deciphering the Jews’ unique exposure and functional usefulness to totalitarian movements—fascist, Nazi, and Stalinist. In the process, he shines an unsparing light on the often widely dissimilar behavior of separate European peoples, and on separate Jewish populations, during the Holocaust.
A distillation of the author’s lifetime of scholarly research and teaching experience, A History of the Jews in the Modern World provides a source of unsurpassed intellectual richness for university students and educated laypersons alike.
An eminent historian and author of A History of Israel provides a readable, comprehensive study of the Jewish people over the course of the last four hundred years, analyzing the diverse roles of the Jews as both catalysts for key accomplishments of modern civilization and as the victims of reactionary political ideologies and totalitarian regimes. 20,000 first printing.
Howard M. Sachar is the author of fifteen books and the editor of the thirty-nine-volume The Rise of Israel: A Documentary History. He is Professor of Modern History Emeritus at George Washington University.
Table of Contents
The Jew as non-European — A glimmering of dawn in the west — An ambivalent emancipation in the west — Incarceration: the Jews of tsarist Russia — The triumph of emancipation in the west — Jews in an emancipated economy — The impact of western culture on Jewish life — A Sephardic-Oriental diaspora — The rise of Jewish life in America — False dawn in the east: Alexander II and the era of "enlightenment" — Russian twilight: the era of pogroms and May Laws — A migration of east European Jewry: 1881-1914 — The onset of modern antisemitism — The mutation of racism — The rise of Zionism — The evolution of Jewish radicalism: Tsarist Russia — Socialist "internationalism" in western Europe: the trauma of World War I — The triumph of Bolshevism — The Balfour Declaration and the Jewish National Home — The legacy of progressivism: immigrant Jewry in the United States — Successor states and minority guarantees: 1919-1939 — The triumph of east European fascism — A final symbiosis of Jewish and western culture — A climatic onslaught of postwar antisemitism — The triumph of Nazism — The quest for sanctuary: 1933-1939 — The Holocaust of European Jewry — The final solution and the struggle for Jewish survival — The birth of Israel — Eastern Jewry in the postwar: a failed convalescence — A precarious revival in western Europe — The Jews of British Commonwealth — A Latin Israel in the southern hemisphere — The efflorescence of American-Jewish community — The Jewish state and world Jewry — Israel, the United States, and the struggle for Soviet Jewry.
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