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The Economy in Jewish History: New Perspectives on the Interrelationship Between Ethnicity and Economic Lifeby Gideon Reuveni
Synopses & Reviews
The theme...is a vitally important one, Reuveni's Prolegomena lays out a compelling interpretation of the field.... The volume as a whole is valuable in providing the reader with an overview of the engagement of Jews in the economy, or how Jews were imagined to participate in the economy, particularly in Europe. Leora Auslander, University of Chicago
This is an impressive essay collection that offers] an innovative approach to modern Jewish history.... Another strong point is that several contributions are based on archival research and deal with little studied contexts, such as Africa or indeed Hungary. Tobias Brinkmann, Penn State University
Jewish historiography tends to stress the religious, cultural, and political aspects of the past. By contrast the economy has been pushed to the margins of the Jewish discourse and scholarship since the end of the Second World War. This volume takes a fresh look at Jews and the economy, arguing that a broader, cultural approach is needed to understand the central importance of the economy. The very dynamics of economy and its ability to function depend on the ability of individuals to interact, and on the shared values and norms that are fostered within ethnic communities. Thus this volume sheds new light on the interrelationship between religion, ethnicity, culture, and the economy, revealing the potential of an economic turn in the study of history.
Gideon Reuveni is a Lecturer for modern European and Jewish history at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Reading Germany: Literature and Consumer Culture in Germany before 1933 (Berghahn, 2006) and the co-editor of several other books on different aspects of Jewish history. Presently he is working on a book on consumer culture and the making of Jewish identity in Europe.
Sarah Wobick-Segev is a Jim Joseph postdoctoral teaching fellow at Syracuse University. She has most recently published Une place pour l'amour? Le mariage juif Paris et Berlin dans une re transitionnelle, 1890-1930 in Exp riences crois es. Les juifs de France et d'Allemagne aux XIXe et XXe si cles edited by Heidi Kn rzer ( ditions de l' clat, 2010).
Book News Annotation:
Based on a workshop held at the University of Wisconsin titled "Jewish History Encounters the Economy," this volume addresses a topic that until recently had been relegated to the margins of Jewish studies despite its centrality in Jewish life and stereotypes of Jews. Reuveni (modern European and Jewish history, U. of Melbourne) and Wobick-Segev (Syracuse U.) introduce 11 essays that offer new readings of Jewish history of the interaction of economic with other aspects of life. Case studies treat national and transnational contexts, e.g., the Jewish role in the modernization of Hungary's economy, early 20th century trade in African ostrich plumes, and origins of the diamond industry in British-ruled Palestine. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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