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political world


Jewish Radicals and Radical Jews

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The title of this book is a little off. The book is as much about the New Left and related movements as it is about Jews in it.

This work also provides information about the history of earlier leftist movements. For instance, Cohen comments, (quote) The BUNDISTS were Radical Jews in the Russia and Poland of the early twentieth century, who, while not supporting a Jewish nationalist movement, proposed a separate Jewish workers' movement committed to socialism within the society in which Jews lived and worked. (unquote). (p. 78). Obviously, Jewish involvement in Communism, here under the euphemism of socialism, and sometimes called the Zydokomuna, was much broader than membership in the Communist Party itself. >>more...

Jewish Experience in Pre-WWII Northwest Poland Brought to Life

Sunday, May 18, 2014
If you are interested in various arcane details about Jewish life in the past, this book is for you. This work is from the viewpoint of specifically named Jews in the text, as well as of Jews in general. >>more...

Jews, Liquor, and Life in the Kingdom of Poland

Sunday, May 18, 2014
This review is from: Yankel's Tavern: Jews, Liquor, and Life in the Kingdom of Poland (Hardcover) The author has written a fascinating study that exhibits an obvious attempt at even-handedness. However, in common with many works on this subject, it treats Jews primarily as the servants of nobles and rulers, and devotes insufficient attention to the decision-making freedoms of Jews. The time period of this book is the late 1700's through the mid- and late-1800's, the era of Partition and post-Partition Poland. >>more...

His Social and Economic Value Polish Jew

Sunday, May 18, 2014
This British author's understanding of Jews is quite different from that of westerners [review based on the original 1906 edition], and she points out that her conclusions are supported by eight years' residence in Russian-ruled central Poland. (see the Preface). >>more...

Polish Collaboration and Polish Underground Justice Under the Spotlight,

Saturday, April 5, 2014
PUNITIVE POLAND 1939-1945 is approximately the title of this Polish-language book. This work is yet another refutation of the silly notion that Poles are so imbued with their "heroic narrative" of fighting the Nazis that they are unwilling to discuss "dark chapters" of Polish history. In fact, heroic behaviors and cowardly behaviors were mirror images of each other under the brutalities of the German occupation. (p. 107). The Polish Blue Police (POLICJA GRANATOWA) exemplified this divide. A significant fraction (perhaps over 10%) were involved in the Polish Underground, while another fraction collaborated with the enemy or engaged in exploitative or bandit conduct. (e. g, p. 99, 111). >>more...

The Polish Tradition : an Interpretation of a Nation

Monday, January 13, 2014
A Super Job. Considerable Insights into the Characteristics of Poles, 1930's Polish-Jewish Relations, the Kresy, and Much More >>more...

: The transformation of Jewish society in Russia, 1825-1855

Sunday, December 29, 2013
The Russification of Jews: The Maskilim in the Light of the Policies of Tsar Nicholas Tsar Nicholas I and the Jews: The transformation of Jewish society in Russia, 1825-1855 (Hardcover) When Tsar Nicholas I reigned (1825-1855), Poland had already been Partitioned decades earlier, and the erstwhile Polish Jews of eastern Poland thus had become part of the western parts of the Russian Empire. This book is less about Tsar Nicholas I and more about how the maskilim (enlightened Jews), during the early stages of the Haskalah (enlightenment), reacted to his policies. Although there was no unanimous answer, among either Jews or gentiles, as to how Jews were to "modernize", certain trends are evident, and I now focus on some of them. >>more...

Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia (Studies on the History of Society and Culture) JEWS EFFECTIVELY A SEPARATE NATION IN POLAND

Sunday, December 29, 2013
This book includes details about Jews that lived within the Pale of Jewish Settlement. However, it notably features the Jews of St. Petersburg, which was located outside the Pale. It elaborates on Jewish social, political, educational, and other movements. In my review, I focus on Polish-Jewish relations, even though this is not a theme of this work. >>more...

Militant Messiah: Or, the Flight from the Ghetto: The Story of Jacob Frank the Frankist Movement

Saturday, November 30, 2013
This work provides a fine introduction not only to Jacob Frank and the Frankists, but also to events surrounding the man and his movement. It also describes other developments within Judaism. For instance, Mandel comments, (quote) In Hassidism the concepts of good and evil undergo a certain qualification. They no longer are determined by the deed itself, but depend on the doer. The same deed that would be evil committed by an ordinary man, committed by the tsaddik is good. (unquote). (p. 19). However, the Frankist movement went to the extreme of full-blown antinomianism. (p. 36, 37). >>more...

he Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755-1816 (Jewish Culture and Contexts

Saturday, November 30, 2013
This work goes deep into theology, and focuses on the interface of Christianity and Judaism in the 18th century. Owing to the breadth of the topics presented, I focus only on a few issues, notably those I consider to be of broader significance. >>more...
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