Books

A German Against The Third Reich

Filed in Books by on February 13, 2018 0 Comments
A German Against The Third Reich

Friedrich Kellner, a German civil servant, kept a secret diary from 1939 to 1945 in which he charted Germany’s inexorable descent into war, totalitarianism and genocide. A committed Social Democrat and a steadfast opponent of Nazism, he was born in Mainz and lived in the small Upper Hesse town of Laubach, 73 kilometres northeast of […]

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Einstein’s German World: Hospitality And Hostility

Filed in Books by on January 27, 2018 0 Comments
Einstein’s German World: Hospitality And Hostility

German Jews found a “spiritual home” in German culture, philosophy, literature and music after their emancipation in 1871. During this period, when Germany was on the ascendancy as a great power, Germans generally related to Jews with a mixture of hospitality and hostility. In plain language, the tentative acceptance of Jews into German society was […]

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The Holocaust Through Muslim Eyes

Filed in Books by on January 4, 2018 0 Comments
The Holocaust Through Muslim Eyes

Mehnaz Afridi is appalled by two troubling phenomena in Muslim communities — the “lack of understanding” of the Holocaust and the “growing antisemitism.” She should know. An Indian Muslim born in Pakistan, she’s director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College, a Catholic liberal arts institution in New York City. It’s […]

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Revolutionary Yiddishland

Filed in Books by on December 31, 2017 0 Comments
Revolutionary Yiddishland

The Jewish working class of Eastern Europe has passed into the mists of time, but during its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it produced a remarkable cadre of utopian revolutionaries ranging from Socialists and Communists to Bundists and Zionists. Whether manual workers or intellectuals, they emerged from what was the Pale […]

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Becoming Ottomans

Filed in Books by on December 27, 2017 0 Comments
Becoming Ottomans

Julia Phillips Cohen’s path-breaking book, Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era, published by Oxford University Press, is the first to tell the story of Jewish political integration into a modern Islamic empire. The process, which began with the Tanzimat reforms enacted by the Ottoman Empire from 1839-1876,  emancipated non-Muslim minorities. From that […]

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Jewish Volunteers In The Spanish Civil War

Filed in Books by on December 22, 2017 0 Comments
Jewish Volunteers In The Spanish Civil War

The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 was a defining moment in the leadup to World War II. Pitting two diametrically opposed ideologies against each other, the three-year conflict was ostensibly a struggle between the left-of-center Republicans and the right-wing Nationalists. On a broader level, it was effectively a proxy war between the fascism […]

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Arab Nationalism In The Twentieth Century

Filed in Books by on December 6, 2017 0 Comments
Arab Nationalism In The Twentieth Century

Arab intellectuals and leaders have long been animated by the holy grail of Arab nationalism, an ideology which proclaims that Arabs are one nation, glorifies Arab civilization, language and literature and espouses the necessity of a single Arab state. This utopian idea was in its heyday during Gamal Abdel Nasser’s presidency of Egypt, but in […]

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Murder Incorporated

Filed in Books by on November 22, 2017 0 Comments
Murder Incorporated

Once upon a time, the American public was fascinated by the spectre of criminality. This era lasted from about 1920 to 1940 and spanned Prohibition and the Great Depression. Sometimes referred to as the golden age of gangsterism, it inspired a profusion of Hollywood movies like Little Caesar and Scarface, an avalanche of novels like Damon […]

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The Story of Hebrew

Filed in Books by on November 8, 2017 0 Comments
The Story of Hebrew

For about 2,000 years, until the early 20th century, Hebrew was virtually comatose. Once the mother tongue of the Jewish masses in their ancestral homeland, it ceased being a spoken language and became the sacred language of the synagogue and of rabbis and scholars studying religious texts. Its restoration as a utilitarian language, driven by […]

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Palestine — The Reality

Filed in Books by on November 2, 2017 0 Comments
Palestine — The Reality

On the eve of World War II, British journalist J.M.N. Jeffries wrote Palestine — the Reality: The Inside Story of the Balfour Declaration, 1917-1938, a book that reflected his views of the endemic  turmoil in Palestine. A foreign correspondent of The Daily Mail in London, he had covered World War I and the tensions between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, […]

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