Between Redemption & Perdition: Modern Antisemitism and Jewish Identity

1st Edition

Robert S. Wistrich

April 27, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 290 Pages
ISBN 9780367461096 - CAT# K463285
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Jewish History and Identity

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Originally published in 1990, this book focuses on the challenge to Jewish identity posed by the conflicting forces of enlightenment, emancipation, modern political antisemitism, and secular ideologies like Zionism, nationalism, and socialism. At the heart of his discussion stands the intense, tortured, and ultimately tragic encounter of Jews with Germans and Austrians. He also deals at length with the new problems of Jewish cultural and political identity posed by the existence of the state of Israel and its embattled position among the nations. In the course of the analysis the book looks at the tragedy of assimilation in central Europe, with the optimistic dream of Enlightenment and Bildung coming to a climax in the nightmare of racial antisemitism and the Holocaust. He explores the ambivalent relationship of the Jews with the European Left, showing how many Jewish intellectuals found a new political home in radical and socialist movements, though these movements often retained negative stereotypes of Jews and Judaism and exhibited a fierce opposition to the maintenance of any separate Jewish identity. The role of Zionism is discussed and the more recent challenges to its legitimacy examined.

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