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In a work of scholarship both erudite and funny, Jeremy Dauber traces the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from biblical times to the age of Twitter. Organising his book thematically into what he calls the seven strands of Jewish comedy (including the Satirical, the Witty and the Vulgar), Dauber explores the ways Jewish comedy has dealt with persecution, assimilation and diaspora through the ages. He explains the rise and fall of popular comic archetypes such as the Jewish mother, the JAP, and the schlemiel and schlimazel. He also explores a range of comic masterpieces, from the Book of Esther, Talmudic rabbi jokes, Yiddish satires, Borscht Belt skits and Seinfeld to the work of such masters as Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Philip Roth, Sarah Silverman and Jon Stewart.
Traces the roots of ideologies and outlooks that shape Jewish life in Israel and the United States today. Zionism and the Melting Pot pivots away from commonplace accounts of the origins of Jewish politics and focuses on the ongoing activities of actors instrumental in the theological, political, diplomatic, and philanthropic networks that enabled the establishment of new Jewish communities in Palestine and the United States. M. M. Silver's innovative new study highlights the grassroots nature of these actors and their efforts - preaching, fundraising, emigration campaigns, and mutual aid organizations - and argues that these activities were not fundamentally ideological in nature but instead grew organically from traditional Judaic customs, values, and community mores. Silver examines events in three key locales - Ottoman Palestine, czarist Russia and the United States - during a period from the early 1870s to a few years before World War I. This era which was defined by the rise of new forms of anti-Semitism and by mass Jewish migration, ended with institutional and artistic expressions of new perspectives on Zionism and American Jewish communal life. Within this timeframe, Silver demonstrates, Jewish ideologies arose somewhat amorphously, without clear agendas; they then evolved as attempts to influence the character, pace, and geographical coordinates of the modernization of East European Jews, particularly in, or from, Russia's czarist empire. Unique in his multidisciplinary approach, Silver combines political and diplomatic history, literary analysis, biography, and organizational history. Chapters switch successively from the Zionist context, both in the czarist and Ottoman empires, to the United States' melting-pot milieu. More than half of the figures discussed are sermonizers, emissaries, pioneers, or writers unknown to most readers. And for well-known figures like Theodor Herzl or Emma Lazarus, Silver's analysis typically relates to texts and episodes that are not covered in extant scholarship. By uncovering the foundations of Zionism - the Jewish nationalist ideology that became organized formally as a political movement - and of melting-pot theories of Jewish integration in the United States, Zionism and the Melting Pot breaks ample new ground.
Israel's 1977 political election resulted in a dramatic defeat for the ruling Labor movement, which had enjoyed more than four decades of economic, political, and cultural dominance. The government passed into the hands of the rightwing nationalist movement, marking a tumultuous episode in the history of both Israel and Jewish people at the start of the twenty-first century. Elmaliach chronicles the fascinating story of Israel's political transformation between the 1950s and the 1970s, exploring the roots of the Labor movement's historic collapse. Elmaliach focuses on Mapam and its allied Kibbutz movement, Hakibbutz Ha'artzi, a segment of the Israeli Labor movement that was most committed to the synthesis of socialism and Zionism. Although Mapam and Hakibbutz Ha'artzi were not the largest factions in the Israeli Labor movement, their ability to combine an economic organization, a political party, and cultural institutions gave them a strong foundation on which to build their power. Conversely, the Labor movement's crisis was, in large part, due to the economic upward mobility of the middle class, the emergence of new political orientations among supporters of the working-class parties, and the rise of cultural protests, which opposed the traditional workers' parties. Offering an innovative analysis, Elmaliach argues that, ultimately, the sources of the Labor movement's strength were also the causes of its weakness.
Nili Gold, who was born in Haifa to German-speaking parents in 1948, the first year of Israeli statehood, here offers a remarkable homage to her native city during its heyday as an international port and cultural center. Spanning the 1920s and '30s, when Jews and Arabs lived together amicably and buildings were erected that reflected European, modernist, Jewish, and Arab architectural influences, through 1948, when most Arabs left, and into the '50s and '60s burgeoning of the young state of Israel, Gold anchors her personal and family history in five landmark clusters. All in the neighborhood of Hadar HaCarmel, these landmarks define Haifa as a whole. In exquisite detail, Gold describes Memorial Park and its environs, including the border between the largest Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in Haifa; the intersection of Herzl and Balfour Streets, whose highlight is the European/Middle Eastern Technion edifice; Talpiot Market, recalling Haifa as a lively commercial hub; Alliance High School and the Great Synagogue, the former dedicated to instilling a love of intellectual pursuits, while the synagogue was an arm of the dominant Israeli religious establishment; the Ge'ula Elementary School and neighboring buildings that played a historical role, among them, the Struck House, with its Arab-inspired architecture-all against the dramatic backdrop of the mountain, sea, and bay, and their reverberations in memory and literature. Illustrated with more than thirty-five photographs and six maps, Gold's astute observations of the changing landscape of her childhood and youth highlight literary works that portray deeply held feelings for Haifa, by such canonical Israeli writers as A. B. Yehoshua, Sami Michael, and Dahlia Ravikovitch.
In Jewish Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy Confronts Modernity, Zionism and Women's Equality, Motti Inbari undertakes a study of the culture and leadership of Jewish radical ultra-Orthodoxy in Hungary, Jerusalem and New York. He reviews the history, ideology and gender relations of prominent ultra-Orthodox leaders Amram Blau (1894-1974), founder of the anti-Zionist Jerusalemite Neturei Karta, and Yoel Teitelbaum (1887-1979), head of the Satmar Hasidic movement in New York. Focussing on the rabbis' biographies, the author analyzes their enclave building methods, their attitude to women and modesty, and their eschatological perspectives. The research is based on newly discovered archival materials, covering many unique and remarkable findings. The author concludes with a discussion of contemporary trends in Jewish religious radicalization. Inbari highlights the resilience of the current generations' sense of community cohesion and their capacity to adapt and overcome challenges such as rehabilitation into potentially hostile secular societies.
As a twenty-three-year-old graduate student, Aaron Lanskey set out to save the world's abandoned Yiddish books before it was too late. Today, twenty-five years and one and a half million books later, he has accomplished what has been called "the greatest cultural rescue effort in Jewish history." In "Outwitting History," Lansky shares his adventures as well as the poignant and often laugh-out-loud stories he heard as he traveled the country collecting books. Introducing us to a dazzling array of writers, he shows us how an almost-lost culture is the bridge between the old world and the future--and how the written word can unite everyone who believes in the power of great literature.
A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel
This monumental work answers the grand question of where American Jewish liberalism comes from and ultimately questions whether the communal motivations behind such behaviour are strong enough to withstand twenty-first-century America.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the holocaust in Hungary renowned photographer Iren Acs collected photographs from her birth place of Szecseny and told her own story of a Jewish childhood in the Hungarian countryside to author Julia Levendel. 'Keep it Safe!' is a moving document of a lost world and a fascinating example of the possibilities of found photographs when accompanied by an appropriate commentary.
This is the only book from the perspective of the defendant who emerged victorious. It features reviews on book pages of national newspapers, and in history magazines. Deborah Lipstadt chronicles her five-year legal battle with David Irving that culminated in a sensational trial in 2000. In her acclaimed 1993 book "Denying the Holocaust", Deborah Lipstadt called David Irving, a prolific writer of books on World War II, "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial", a conclusion she reached after closely examining his books, speeches, interviews, and other copious records. The following year, after Lipstadt's book was published in the UK, Irving filed a libel suit against Lipstadt and her UK publisher, Penguin. Lipstadt prepared her defence with the help of first-rate team of solicitors, historians, and experts. The dramatic trial, which unfolded over the course of 10 weeks, ultimately exposed the prejudice, extremism, and distortion of history that defined Irving's work. Lipstadt's victory was proclaimed on the front page of major newspapers around the world, with the "Daily Telegraph" proclaiming that the trial did "for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations." Part history, part real life courtroom drama, "History On Trial" is Lipstadt's riveting, blow-by-blow account of the trial that tested the standards of historical and judicial truths and resulted in a formal denunciation of a Holocaust denier, crippling the movement for years to come.
The scholarly quest to answer the question of Jewish origins The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know-or think we know-about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be. He sheds new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers-and the religious and political agendas that have made finding answers so elusive. Introducing many approaches and theories, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and divisive topic.
New insights into how the Book of Samuel offers a timeless meditation on the dilemmas of statecraft The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The Beginning of Politics mines the story of Israel's first two kings to unearth a natural history of power, providing a forceful new reading of what is arguably the first and greatest work of Western political thought. Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes show how the beautifully crafted narratives of Saul and David cut to the core of politics, exploring themes that resonate wherever political power is at stake. Through stories such as Saul's madness, David's murder of Uriah, the rape of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, the book's author deepens our understanding not only of the necessity of sovereign rule but also of its costs--to the people it is intended to protect and to those who wield it. What emerges from the meticulous analysis of these narratives includes such themes as the corrosive grip of power on those who hold and compete for power; the ways in which political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies; and the intensity with which the tragic conflict between political loyalty and family loyalty explodes when the ruler's bloodline is made into the guarantor of the all-important continuity of sovereign power. The Beginning of Politics is a timely meditation on the dark side of sovereign power and the enduring dilemmas of statecraft.
In a 1984 interview with longtime friend Edna O'Brien, Philip Roth describes her writing as ""a piece of fine meshwork, a net of perfectly observed sensuous details that enables you to contain all the longing and pain and remorse that surge through the fiction."" The phrase ""fine meshwork"" not only captures the essence of O'Brien's writing, but also suggests the multiple connective threads that bind her work to others', including, most illuminatingly, Roth's. Since the publication of their first controversial novels in the 1950s and 1960s, Roth and O'Brien have always argued against the isolation of mind from body, autobiography from fiction, life from art, and self from nation. In Fine Meshwork, Dan O'Brien investigates these shared concerns of the two authors, now regarded as literary icons of their respective countries. He traces their forty-year literary friendship and the striking parallels in their books and reception, bringing together what, at first glance, seem to be quite disparate milieus: the largely feminist and Irish scholarship on O'Brien and the American Jewish perspective on Roth. In doing so, and in considering them in a transnational context, he argues that the intertwined nature of their writing symbolizes the far-ranging symbiosis between Irish literature and it's American-particularly Jewish-American-counterpart.
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