Looks interesting… modern nations, citizens, and the Jews of Europe

Emancipation : how liberating Europe’s Jews from the ghetto led to revolution and renaissance / Michael Goldfarb, Carlton North, Vic. : Scribe, 2009.Summary
For almost five hundred years the Jews of Europe lived in enforced segregation, sequestered in tiny rural villages, locked away at night inside ghettos. Then, in one remarkable act of the French Revolution, the ghetto gates were opened. The Jews of France were given citizenship and an unstoppable process began: Jewish Emancipation.This is the first popular history of the emancipation of Europe’s Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries, a transformation that was startling to those who lived through it and continues to effect the way we live today.As Napoleon conquered Europe, he literally tore down the ghetto doors. Freed from their ghettos, Jews removed the yellow badges from their coats, and almost overnight ushered in a second renaissance in Western civilisation. Within a century, Marx, Freud, and Einstein created revolutions in politics, human science, and physics that continue to shape our world. Proust, Schoenberg, Mahler, Pissaro, and Kafka redefined artistic expression.Emancipation reformed the practice of Judaism, turning it into a faith with new rituals that could be practised by people living in society’s mainstream. It encouraged some to imagine a modern nation of their own and, within decades, led to the dream of Zionism.Michael Goldfarb tells this dramatic story through the lives and words of the people who lived it: some of them famous, many forgotten. Emancipation is popular history and social history relevant to today’s struggles of religious and ethnic minorities striving to create their own place in the modern world.


Napolean’s embrace of the revolutionary concept of citizenship led him to the logical decision to tear down the ghettos in France as well as everywhere his armies triumphed. Emancipation of the Jews of western and central Europe unleashed a flood of Jewish creativity and activism greatly enriching the broader societies. From such literary giants as Proust to such scientists as Einstein, Jews rapidly took a prominent place in all aspects of European life. However, as this fine study reveals, emancipation created a new series of challenges for Jews. Once liberated from enforced isolation, Jews had to decide how much assimilation could be utilized while still remaining Jewish. As revolutionary movements ebbed and flowed throughout the nineteenth century, Jews were often forced to decide which side they were on. The success, both cultural and economic, of many Jews also triggered new and virulent forms of anti-semitism. Goldfarb has a narrow focus, given that the majority of nineteenth-century Jews lived outside of Europe, but this is an interesting and informative account of a seminal period in Jewish history.–Freeman, Jay Copyright 2009 Booklist



Citizens : a chronicle of the French Revolution / Simon Schama

Explores the French Revolution in terms of the vitality and infatuation with technology that motivated French citizenry toward change and the conflicting, strained economics frustrating their visions for France.

Contents: 1. New men — 2. Blue horizons, red ink — 3. Absolutism attacked — 4. The cultural construction of a citizen — 5. The costs of modernity — 6. Body politics — 7. Suicides, 1787-1788 — 8. Grievances, Autumn 1788 – Spring 1789 — 9. Improvising a nation — 10. Bastille, July 1789 — 11. Reason and unreason, July-November 1789 — 12. Acts of faith, October 1789 – July 1790 — 13. Departures, August 1790 – July 1791 — 14. “Marseillaise,” September 1791 – August 1792 — 15. Impure blood, August 1792 – January 1793 — 16. Enemies of the people? Winter -Spring 1793 — 17. “Terror is the order of the day”: June 1793 – Frimaire An II (December 1793) — 18. The politics of turpitude — 19. Chiliasm: April – July 1794.

Race and nation : ethnic systems in the modern world / edited by Paul Spickard

Race and nation, identity and power : thinking comparatively about ethnic systems / Paul Spickard — Pt. 1. Founding and sustaining myths — 1. Guilty pleasures : the satisfactions of racial thinking in early-nineteenth-century California / Douglas Monroy — 2. Mestizaje and the “ethnicization” of race in Latin America / Virginia Q. Tilley — 3. Creating a racial paradise : citizenship and sociology in Hawai’i / Lori Pierce — 4. White into black : race and national identity in contemporary Brazil / G. Reginald Daniel — 5. Memories of Japanese identity and racial hierarchy / Miyuki Yonezawa — Pt. 2. Colonialisms and their legacies — 6. Ethnicity and power in North Africa : Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco / Taoufik Djebali — 7. Racial frontiers in Jamaica’s nonracial nationhood / Violet Showers Johnson — 8. Between subjects and citizens : Algerians, Islam, and French national identity during the Great War / Richard S. Fogarty — 9. On becoming German : politics of membership in Germany / Elisabeth Schafer-Wunsche — Pt. 3. Nation making — 10. Reinventing the nation : building a bicultural future from a monocultural past in Aotearoa/New Zealand / Cluny Macpherson — 11. Metaphors of race and discourse of nation : racial theory and state nationalism in the first decades of the Turkish Republic / Howard Eissenstat — 12. The fragmented nation : genealogy, identity, and social hierarchy in Turkmenistan / Adrienne Edgar — 13. Becoming Cambodian : ethnicity and the Vietnamese in Kampuchea / Christine Su — Pt. 4. Boundaries within — 14. A race apart? : the paradox of Sikh ethnicity and nationalism / Darshan Tatla — 15. Race and ethnicity in South Africa : ideology and experience / T. Dunbar Moodie — 16. Eritrea’s identity as a cultural crossroads / Tekle M. Woldemikael — 17. The problem of the color-blind : notes on the discourse on race in Italy / Alessandro Portelli

Race and Nationis the first book to compare the racial and ethnic systems that have developed around the world. It is the creation of nineteen scholars who are experts on locations as far-flung as China, Jamaica, Eritrea, Brazil, Germany, Punjab, and South Africa. The contributing historians, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and scholars of literary and cultural studies have engaged in an ongoing conversation, honing a common set of questions that dig to the heart of racial and ethnic groups and systems. Guided by those questions, they have created the first book that explores the similarities, differences, and the relationships among the ways that race and ethnicity have worked in the modern world. In so doing they have created a model for how to write world history that is detailed in its expertise, yet also manages broad comparisons


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