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About this product
- DescriptionIn his three-volume history, Antony Polonsky provides a comprehensive survey-socio-political, ecomic, and religious-of the Jewish communities of eastern Europe from 1350 to the present. Until the Second World War, this was the heartland of the Jewish world: nearly three and a half million Jews lived in Poland alone, while nearly three million more lived in the Soviet Union. Although the majority of the Jews of Europe and the United States, and many of the Jews of Israel, originate from these lands, their history there is t well kwn. Rather, it is the subject of mythologizing and stereotypes that fail both to bring out the specific features of the Jewish civilization which emerged there and to illustrate what was lost. Jewish life, though often poor materially, was marked by a high degree of spiritual and ideological intensity and creativity. Antony Polonsky recreates this lost world-brutally cut down by the Holocaust and less brutally but still seriously damaged by the Soviet attempt to destroy Jewish culture. Wherever possible, the unfolding of history is illustrated by contemporary Jewish writings to show how Jews felt and reacted to the complex and difficult situations in which they found themselves. This first volume begins with an overview of Jewish life in Poland and Lithuania down to the mid-eighteenth century. It describes the towns and shtetls where the Jews lived, the institutions they developed, and their participation in the ecomy. Developments in religious life, including the emergence of hasidism and the growth of opposition to it, are described in detail. The volume goes on to cover the period from 1764 to 1881, highlighting government attempts to increase the integration of Jews into the wider society and the Jewish responses to these efforts, including the beginnings of the Haskalah movement. Attention is focused on developments in each country in turn: the problems of emancipation, acculturation, and assimilation in Prussian and Austrian Poland; the politics of integration in the Kingdom of Poland; and the failure of forced integration in the tsarist empire. Volume 2 covers the period 1881-1914; Volume 3 covers 1914-2005.
- Author BiographyAntony Polonsky is Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies, an appointment held jointly at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University. Before this he taught at the London School of Economics, and he has been a visiting professor at the University of Warsaw, the Institute for the Human Sciences, Vienna, and the University of Cape Town; a visiting fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; and Visiting Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford. He is the editor of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, a yearbook also published (since 1993) by the Littman Library, and the author or co-author of several books, including Politics in Independent Poland (1972), The Little Dictators: A History of Eastern Europe since 1918 (1975), The Great Powers and the Polish Question, 1941-1945 (1976), The History of Poland since 1863 (1981), and The Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland (1981). Professor Polonsky is vice-president of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies and of the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies. He is a member of the International Council of the State Museum in Auschwitz, of the International Advisory Board of the Mordecai Anieliewicz Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Warsaw, and of the Executive Committee of the National Polish American-Jewish American Task Force, and an Associate of the Ukrainian Research Institute of Harvard University. In 1999 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
- Author(s)Antony Polonsky
- PublisherLiverpool University Press
- Date of Publication10/12/2009
- SubjectRegional History
- Series TitleLittman Library of Jewish Civilization
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintThe Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
- Content Notemaps, tables
- Weight999 g
- Width155 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine51 mm
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