Catalogue


Prophets of the past : interpreters of Jewish history /
Michael Brenner ; translated by Steven Rendall.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2010.
description
xiii, 301 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691139288 (hbk.), 9780691139289 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2010.
isbn
0691139288 (hbk.)
9780691139289 (hbk.)
contents note
Introduction: viewpoints on Jewish history -- Jewish history as history of religion: Wissenschaft des Judentums in the service of Reform and emancipation -- Between religion and nation: Graetz and his construction of Jewish history -- The nationalization of Jewish history: the view from the East -- Jewish history without tears? new perspectives in the West -- The return of the nation to its land: Zionist narrative perspectives -- Postmodern influences: a new subjectivity.
catalogue key
7293734
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"At long last, a definitive volume on modern Jewish historiography in English. Michael Brenner here follows in the wake of his teacher, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, by analyzing with great breadth and depth the diverse byways of Jewish historical writing. An acknowledged master of German-Jewish history, Brenner expertly charts old and new terrain--in Europe, Israel, and North America--in this important and richly illuminating study."--David N. Myers, University of California, Los Angeles"Sweeping, discerning, meticulous, and empathetic, Brenner's pioneering synthesis convincingly shows the writing of history to be the dominant medium of modern Jewish thought."--Ismar Schorsch, chancellor emeritus, Jewish Theological Seminary"Prophets of the Pastis a panoramic examination of the shifting paradigms in modern Jewish historical writing, ranging over three continents and from the eighteenth century to the present. In its scope it is unprecedented. Brenner has made a stellar contribution to Jewish intellectual history that should be of equal interest to all who would explore the nexus between historiography and ideology."--Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Columbia University"Michael Brenner has produced a sweeping account of Jewish historiographical traditions, beginning with the first attempts in the early nineteenth century to write the history of the Jewish people, and carrying the story through the most recent developments in the field. Before Brenner, no one dared tackle such a vast project. Lucid and gracefully written,Prophets of the Pastintroduces readers not only to the historians who have brought to life the various narratives that elucidate the Jewish past, but to the very craft of history itself, its power, its consequence, its appeal."--John M. Efron, University of California, Berkeley
Flap Copy
"At long last, a definitive volume on modern Jewish historiography in English. Michael Brenner here follows in the wake of his teacher, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, by analyzing with great breadth and depth the diverse byways of Jewish historical writing. An acknowledged master of German-Jewish history, Brenner expertly charts old and new terrain--in Europe, Israel, and North America--in this important and richly illuminating study."--David N. Myers, University of California, Los Angeles "Sweeping, discerning, meticulous, and empathetic, Brenner's pioneering synthesis convincingly shows the writing of history to be the dominant medium of modern Jewish thought."--Ismar Schorsch, chancellor emeritus, Jewish Theological Seminary " Prophets of the Past is a panoramic examination of the shifting paradigms in modern Jewish historical writing, ranging over three continents and from the eighteenth century to the present. In its scope it is unprecedented. Brenner has made a stellar contribution to Jewish intellectual history that should be of equal interest to all who would explore the nexus between historiography and ideology."--Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Columbia University "Michael Brenner has produced a sweeping account of Jewish historiographical traditions, beginning with the first attempts in the early nineteenth century to write the history of the Jewish people, and carrying the story through the most recent developments in the field. Before Brenner, no one dared tackle such a vast project. Lucid and gracefully written, Prophets of the Past introduces readers not only to the historians who have brought to life the various narratives that elucidate the Jewish past, but to the very craft of history itself, its power, its consequence, its appeal."--John M. Efron, University of California, Berkeley
Flap Copy
"At long last, a definitive volume on modern Jewish historiography in English. Michael Brenner here follows in the wake of his teacher, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, by analyzing with great breadth and depth the diverse byways of Jewish historical writing. An acknowledged master of German-Jewish history, Brenner expertly charts old and new terrain--in Europe, Israel, and North America--in this important and richly illuminating study."-- David N. Myers, University of California, Los Angeles "Sweeping, discerning, meticulous, and empathetic, Brenners pioneering synthesis convincingly shows the writing of history to be the dominant medium of modern Jewish thought."-- Ismar Schorsch, chancellor emeritus, Jewish Theological Seminary " Prophets of the Past is a panoramic examination of the shifting paradigms in modern Jewish historical writing, ranging over three continents and from the eighteenth century to the present. In its scope it is unprecedented. Brenner has made a stellar contribution to Jewish intellectual history that should be of equal interest to all who would explore the nexus between historiography and ideology."-- Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Columbia University "Michael Brenner has produced a sweeping account of Jewish historiographical traditions, beginning with the first attempts in the early nineteenth century to write the history of the Jewish people, and carrying the story through the most recent developments in the field. Before Brenner, no one dared tackle such a vast project. Lucid and gracefully written, Prophets of the Past introduces readers not only to the historians who have brought to life the various narratives that elucidate the Jewish past, but to the very craft of history itself, its power, its consequence, its appeal."-- John M. Efron, University of California, Berkeley
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-06-01:
"Historians of the Jewish past bear considerable responsibility for the formation of the Jewish present and future." Brenner (Univ. of Munich, Germany) echoes other historiographical works because historians are as much the products of their environment as are their sources. Just as Jews themselves divided during the emancipation period about whether they were primarily a religious group or a national one, so too did historians. In the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century, Jews split over whether they supported or opposed the Zionist movement. The works of Jewish historians, not surprisingly, also reflected that dichotomy. Depending on how Jewish historians viewed the present, the interpretation of the past varied. In a fascinating chapter aptly titled "Jewish History without Tears?" Brenner illustrates how the Jewish past can be described as one of nothing but persecution or, conversely, as a history in which Jews have thrived despite formidable obstacles. These disparate narratives then framed the debate about whether assimilation was a positive development and would lead to a softening of outside hostility, or whether Jewish acculturation to the larger world would exacerbate anti-Semitism. Brenner ends with a critical look at postmodern Jewish historians. A well-translated and welcome addition to Jewish history collections. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students/faculty. G. R. Sharfman Manchester College
Reviews
Review Quotes
Prophets of the Pastis a panoramic examination of the shifting paradigms in modern Jewish historical writing, ranging over three continents and from the eighteenth century to the present. In its scope it is unprecedented. Brenner has made a stellar contribution to Jewish intellectual history that should be of equal interest to all who would explore the nexus between historiography and ideology.
Sweeping, discerning, meticulous, and empathetic, Brenner's pioneering synthesis convincingly shows the writing of history to be the dominant medium of modern Jewish thought.
A well-translated and welcome addition to Jewish history collections. -- Choice
At long last, a definitive volume on modern Jewish historiography in English. Michael Brenner here follows in the wake of his teacher, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, by analyzing with great breadth and depth the diverse byways of Jewish historical writing. An acknowledged master of German-Jewish history, Brenner expertly charts old and new terrain--in Europe, Israel, and North America--in this important and richly illuminating study.
Michael Brenner has produced a sweeping account of Jewish historiographical traditions, beginning with the first attempts in the early nineteenth century to write the history of the Jewish people, and carrying the story through the most recent developments in the field. Before Brenner, no one dared tackle such a vast project. Lucid and gracefully written,Prophets of the Pastintroduces readers not only to the historians who have brought to life the various narratives that elucidate the Jewish past, but to the very craft of history itself, its power, its consequence, its appeal.
A well-translated and welcome addition to Jewish history collections.
"A well-translated and welcome addition to Jewish history collections."-- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Prophets of the Pastis the first book to examine in depth how modern Jewish historians have interpreted Jewish history. Michael Brenner reveals that perhaps no other national or religious group has used their shared history for so many different ideological and political purposes as the Jews. He deftly traces the master narratives of Jewish history from the beginnings of the scholarly study of Jews and Judaism in nineteenth-century Germany; to eastern European approaches by Simon Dubnow, the interwar school of Polish-Jewish historians, and the short-lived efforts of Soviet-Jewish historians; to the work of British and American scholars such as Cecil Roth and Salo Baron; and to Zionist and post-Zionist interpretations of Jewish history. He also unravels the distortions of Jewish history writing, including antisemitic Nazi research into the "Jewish question," the Soviet portrayal of Jewish history as class struggle, and Orthodox Jewish interpretations of history as divinely inspired.History proved to be a uniquely powerful weapon for modern Jewish scholars during a period when they had no nation or army to fight for their ideological and political objectives, whether the goal was Jewish emancipation, diasporic autonomy, or the creation of a Jewish state. As Brenner demonstrates in this illuminating and incisive book, these historians often found legitimacy for these struggles in the Jewish past.
Main Description
Prophets of the Past is the first book to examine in depth how modern Jewish historians have interpreted Jewish history. Michael Brenner reveals that perhaps no other national or religious group has used their shared history for so many different ideological and political purposes as the Jews. He deftly traces the master narratives of Jewish history from the beginnings of the scholarly study of Jews and Judaism in nineteenth-century Germany; to eastern European approaches by Simon Dubnow, the interwar school of Polish-Jewish historians, and the short-lived efforts of Soviet-Jewish historians; to the work of British and American scholars such as Cecil Roth and Salo Baron; and to Zionist and post-Zionist interpretations of Jewish history. He also unravels the distortions of Jewish history writing, including antisemitic Nazi research into the "Jewish question," the Soviet portrayal of Jewish history as class struggle, and Orthodox Jewish interpretations of history as divinely inspired. History proved to be a uniquely powerful weapon for modern Jewish scholars during a period when they had no nation or army to fight for their ideological and political objectives, whether the goal was Jewish emancipation, diasporic autonomy, or the creation of a Jewish state. As Brenner demonstrates in this illuminating and incisive book, these historians often found legitimacy for these struggles in the Jewish past.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text examines in depth how modern Jewish historians have interpreted Jewish history. Brenner reveals that perhaps no other national or religious group has used their shared history for so many different ideological and political purposes as the Jews.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction Viewpoints on Jewish Historyp. 1
Objectivity and Partialityp. 2
Remembering and Forgettingp. 4
Nation and Religionp. 6
Scholarship and Ideologyp. 9
Heroes and Erasp. 12
Jewish History as History of Religion
Wissenschaft des Judentums in the Service of Reform and Emancipationp. 17
Christian Beginningsp. 18
Traditional Reverberationsp. 21
In the Service of Religious Reformp. 24
In the Battle for Political Emancipationp. 27
Jewish Religious History as Counterhistoryp. 36
One Religion among Numerous Nationsp. 42
Between Religion and Nation
Graetz and His Construction of Jewish Historyp. 53
The Battle against Reform and Assimilationp. 57
Only a History of Suffering and Learning?p. 60
The Debate with Christianity and Germannessp. 64
Rationalism and Mysticismp. 68
Translations and New Interpretationsp. 73
External Opinions on Jewish Historyp. 82
The Nationalization of Jewish History
The View from the Eastp. 93
Dubnow: Diaspora Nationalism as a Historical Conceptp. 93
Polish Jewish Historiography between the Warsp. 106
Under the Soviet Star: Jewish History as Class Historyp. 114
Jewish History without Tears?
New Perspectives in the Westp. 121
Baron in New York: Against the Lachrymose Version of Jewish Historyp. 123
Roth in Oxford: More Than a History of Victimsp. 131
From the Salon to the Academy: The Beginnings of Jewish Women's Historyp. 136
The Return of Tears: Jewish History versus the History of the ôJewish Questionöp. 144
A Signal in Dark Times: The ôJewish Contributionö to Civilizationp. 151
The Return of the Nation to its Land
Zionist Narrative Perspectivesp. 157
The Revolt against the Father: The Break with Wissenschaft des Judentumsp. 158
Patricide: Scholem's Metaphorics of Deathp. 163
New Fathers: The ôJerusalem Schoolö under Baer and Dinurp. 171
New Sons: Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson, Shmuel Ettinger, and Jacob Katzp. 183
The Revolt of the Grandchildren: The New Historiansp. 192
Postmodern Influences A New Subjectivityp. 197
From One Jewish Community to Many Jewish Culturesp. 204
Epiloguep. 217
Notesp. 221
Referencesp. 265
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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