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political world


Social Science and the Politics of Modern Jewish Identity (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review of Narodowa Demokracja wobec problematyki zydowskiej w latach 1918-1929, by Olaf Bergmann.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

YEARS 1918-1929, is the title of this Polish-language book. It is really two books,
intertwined with each other. The first consists of extensive quotations from Endeks,
including ones from newspapers and other generally unavailable sources, and that from
famous and not-so-famous Endeks. This makes the book original and worthwhile, and I
therefore emphasized it in my review. The second consists of author Bergmann's
analysis, which is of variable quality. >>more...

Polish-Jewish Relations 1939-1945: Beyond the Limits of Solidarity

Monday, October 15, 2012
To anyone who has carefully examined this work, and heard Ewa Kurek speak (I have), it is obvious that her level of knowledge is far above that of the usual authors on this subject. Neo-Stalinists and Polonophobes can dismiss and name-call all they want, but the facts presented in this work remain facts nonetheless. In addition, Kurek is even-handed, and realizes that she will "get it" from both sides, "Some Jews will accuse me of anti-Semitism, and some Poles will say I slander my own nation. I just can't help it." (p. 2). She accepts the premise that Jewish criticisms of past Polish conduct may be valid (p. 108), definitely embraces unilateral Polish guilt for Jedwabne (p. 302), and elaborates on and strongly condemns Polish blackmailers and denouncers of fugitive Jews. (pp. 362-on). >>more...

The Jews, An Interesting Overview of Jews and Judaism Interacting With the World

Monday, October 15, 2012
This book provides much detail, of which one review can only cover a little. Particularly interesting are items about Jewish successes in such things as medicine, science, Hollywood, banking, capitalism, and Communism.

The blood libel directed against Jews preceded Christianity, and accusations of ritual murder were sometimes directed at the early Christians. (p. 31). In the Middle Ages, Jews enjoyed almost near universal literacy because of religious obligations. (p. 133). During this time, Maimonides taught that the human-like attributes of God, including forgiveness, were merely human ideas about what God is like and how God acts. Other rabbis declared his works heretical, and burned them. (p. 10) >>more...

Soviet Zion: The Quest for a Russian Jewish Homeland

Thursday, August 16, 2012
This work focuses on attempts to establish a Jewish nation-within-nation in the USSR, whether in the southern Ukraine, the Crimean Peninsula, or (what actually happened) in Birobidzhan. Ironic to the Communists' professed disdain for nationalism, they believed that it was best to fight fire with fire, and that their policies would help nationalism die out in time. (p. 51). >>more...

Fighter and Prophet: The Vladimir Jabotinsky Story The Last Years

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The author has an interesting commentary on Jew-on-Jew violence. When Jabotinsky spoke, he often faced well-planned Jewish Communist and Jewish Socialist heckling and disruption. Jabotinsky used "self-defense" units, comprising Barissia and later Betar, to beat up the disrupters. (p. 36; 110-111; 190-191). Sometimes the Revisionist youth instigated violence against Jewish leftists. (p. 462). >>more...

The Russian Jew Under Tsars And Soviets

Monday, June 25, 2012
A Gloomy Portrayal of Jews in Tsarist Russia and the USSR; Jewish Boycott Irony, etc., This review is from: The Russian Jew Under Tsars And Soviets (Paperback) In contrast with some of his other books, Baron takes a rather lachrymose-history viewpoint in this one. (If accurate, it adds to the refutation of the argument that the pro-Russian, and later pro-Communist, orientation of Polish Jews owed to a pro-Jewish Russian mindset.) Owing to its breadth, I can only touch on a few topics. >>more...

The World Significance of the Russian Revolution

Monday, May 7, 2012
Although Communism is supposed to be a worker's movement [Review based on the original 1920 edition], the active local Communists up to the time of the Russian Revolution contained a relatively small contingent of peasants and proletariat (factory workers). Russia's Communists consisted mostly of decadent specimens of the upper classes, and young peasants who had lost their livelihoods, but had been educated at universities thanks to the liberalism of Alexander II. (p. 7). >>more...

Zydzi, Judaizm, Polska (Polish Edition

Saturday, March 24, 2012
Zydzi a Polska (JEWS AND POLAND), published in 1921 by Father Jozef Kruszynski, traces part of the trajectory by which Jews came on a collision course with Polish national aspirations. It enables the reader to understand why the Endeks were not positive towards Jews. >>more...

AMixed Bag: Zionism as Identity Politics; Much Superficial Reasoning, etcTheTen Lost Tribes, Various Jewish Groupings, and Birobidzhan as an InadvertentModel for Judeopolonia

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Owing to the many topics addressed by this book, I focuson only a few, and, unlike the author, assess the significance of Birobidzhanbeyond its immediate impact.  Jewish identity and politcs
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