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Germans, Jews, and Antisemites
Trials in Emancipation


  • Date Published: September 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521609593

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About the Authors
  • The ferocity of the Nazi attack upon the Jews took many by surprise. Volkov argues that a new look at both the nature of antisemitism and at the complexity of modern Jewish life in Germany is required in order to provide an explanation. While antisemitism had a number of functions in pre-Nazi German society, it most particularly served as a cultural code, a sign of belonging to a particular political and cultural milieu. Surprisingly, it only had a limited effect on the lives of the Jews themselves. By the end of the nineteenth century, their integration was well advanced. Many of them enjoyed prosperity, prestige, and the pleasures of metropolitan life. This book stresses the dialectical nature of assimilation, the lead of the Jews in the processes of modernization, and, finally, their continuous efforts to 'invent' a modern Judaism that would fit their new social and cultural position.

    • An original book on the pre-history of the Holocaust
    • Takes a fresh look at the meaning of antisemitism
    • Offers a personal perspective on a tragic chapter in modern history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Shulamit Volkov has produced more instructive pieces on the history of the German Jews than virtually any other historian. … her most recent book … deserves particular attention.' German Historical Institute London Bulletin

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521609593
    • length: 326 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Interpreting the Danger-Signs:
    1. Views from East and West
    2. On self-hatred and self-criticism
    3. Past shadows, present needs
    Part II. Antisemitism as a Cultural Code:
    4. Antisemitism Old and New
    5. Functions and meaning
    6. Norms and codes: two case studies
    7. Comparing Germany with the French Republic
    Part III. The Jewish Project of Modernity:
    8. On minorities in the nation state
    9. Climbing up the social ladder
    10. Paradoxes of becoming alike
    11. Jewish success in science
    12. On the ambivalence of Bildung
    13. Forces of dissimilation
    14. Inventing tradition.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Comparative Colloquium on Modern Jewish History
    • Graduate Colloquium in Modern Jewish History
    • History of the Jewish People
    • Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
  • Author

    Shulamit Volkov, Tel-Aviv University
    Shulamit Volkov is the Konrad Adenauer Chair for Comparative European History and Professor of Modern European History at Tel Aviv University. She was previously a fellow at St Anthony's College, Oxford, the Wissenschaftskolleg, and the Historisches Kolleg. Volkov is the author of The Origins of Popular Antimodernism in Germany: The Urban Master Artisans, 1873–1896 (1978) and the editor of Deutsche Juden und die Moderne (1994) and Being Different: Minorities, Aliens, and Outsiders in History (2000).

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