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History of the Jews in Modern Times [Paperback]

By Lloyd P. Gartner (Author)
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Item description for History of the Jews in Modern Times by Lloyd P. Gartner...

Lloyd Gartner provides a vivid description of the changing fortunes of the Jewish communities of the Old World--Europe, the Middle East, and beyond--and their gradual expansion into the New World of the Americas. The book begins in 1650, when the Jewish population had fallen to roughly 1.25 million, less than one-sixth of its peak at the start of the Christian era. Gartner leads us through the traditions, religious laws, communities, and their interactions with their neighbors, through the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and into Emancipation, the dark shadows of anti-Semitism, and the Second World War, bringing us up to the present with Zionism and the founding of Israel. Eminently readable and impeccably researched, the book is a superb introduction to one of the central threads of modern history.

Citations And Professional Reviews
History of the Jews in Modern Times by Lloyd P. Gartner has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Choice - 11/01/2001 page 566

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   468
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 8"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 8, 2001
Publisher   Oxford University Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0192892592  
ISBN13  9780192892591  

Availability  0 units.

More About Lloyd P. Gartner

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Lloyd Gartner is Professor of European Jewish History Emeritus at the University of Tel-Aviv.

Lloyd P. Gartner was born in 1927 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Tel-Aviv (Emeritus).

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Jewish > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Jewish
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General
4Books > Subjects > History > World > Renaissance

Reviews - What do customers think about History of the Jews in Modern Times?

Jewish history: 1650-1980  Mar 22, 2010
As of this writing, I see that no one has reviewed this book on this site, which is unfortunate. The book is worthy of a review. So here is my effort.

Gartner covers the period from about 1650 to 1980. He explores the world events that affected Jewish communities, from the Cossack revolt in the Ukraine and Poland in which perhaps 90,000 Jews lost their lives, to the French Revolution and Jewish emancipation, immigration to America, the rise of German nationalism, Naziism and the Holocaust, and the founding of the state of Israel.

Jewish responses to and participation in these events were quite varied. In the early period they were mainly religious. Participation in the wider world was essentially impossible. Self-defense was impossible. What was possible was withdrawal, mysticism, Hasidism, and a yearning for a Messiah. Gartner covers this in what, to me, was surprising and interesting depth. However, starting in the late 18th century, the first sparks of the European enlightenment reached the Jews of France and Germany and, with the coming of the French Revolution - traditional Jewish life began to undergo radical change - welcomed by some Jews and rejected by others.

Jewish emancipation led to the first integrations into the larger and more cosmopolitan Christian culture, mainly in France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. New forms of the religion arose, such as the "Reform" movement that attempted to understand Judaism as a religion in a larger national culture, rather than a separate and self-contained culture. New occupations became possible, especially in business, but also in medicine and the arts and professions. A great awakening of Jewish aspirations occurred. A great increase in population occurred. And new forms of anti-semitism arose, reacting against this.

Gartner writes from a Jewish perspective. He is a professor at Tel Aviv University. He has read and admired Jewish rabbis and writers that are unknown today except to scholars such as himself - people whose interests were far out of the mainstream of European and American history, but who played important roles in their times in Jewish intellectual or religious life. In writing about these people, he teaches us that Jewish life was not entirely written by Napoleon, who was instrumental in emancipating Jews, or Hitler, who sought to kill all of them. Nor was the entire history of Jewish life encompassed in Zionism and the response to the Holocaust.

I liked this book. It's clearly written. It's very well documented with extensive footnotes that include much more detail than just citations and page numbers. It covers a broad spectrum of Jewish history - political, religious, economic, intellectual and cultural. It cites statistics in very useful and enlightening ways. It attempts, on the whole successfully I think, to be objective. It is very sympathetic to the Jewish people but not, I think, antagonistic to anyone else, or blind to the failings of Jewish leaders.

The emphasis is very much on European, and to a lesser extent, American Jewry, with very little about Middle Eastern Jews except for those who came to live in Israel. There is a discussion of the Holocaust, how could any treatment of modern Jewish history ignore it, but it is not the main emphasis of the book. Zionism is also discussed, but it too is not the main emphasis of the book.

I'm not a scholar and have not read much Jewish history. I'm not well prepared to say what a person interested in Jewish history should read. For a history of Zionism, I preferred Walter Laquer's _A History of Zionism_. For the Holocaust, I think there are many better and deeper books. For discussion of the modern conflicts between Israel and its neighbors, there are also many better books. But this book has a place in a comprehensive understanding of modern Jewish history. It covers a lot of material that is hard to find elsewhere, with an impressive objectivity, organization, and scholarship.
used book review  Aug 24, 2009
The book, which I needed for a class, arrived promptly and was in good order as described.

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