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Rank #86 in Judaism category

Religion & Spirituality
Judaism

New Books in Jewish Studies

Updated 1 day ago

Rank #86 in Judaism category

Religion & Spirituality
Judaism
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Interview with Scholar of Judaism about their New Books

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Interview with Scholar of Judaism about their New Books

iTunes Ratings

29 Ratings
Average Ratings
20
5
0
1
3

Thoughtful interviews

By EFdove61 - Mar 02 2018
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Thoughtful interviews and enjoyable to listen to

Excellent

By Tmpadawan - Oct 27 2017
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Great venue for current Jewish thought

iTunes Ratings

29 Ratings
Average Ratings
20
5
0
1
3

Thoughtful interviews

By EFdove61 - Mar 02 2018
Read more
Thoughtful interviews and enjoyable to listen to

Excellent

By Tmpadawan - Oct 27 2017
Read more
Great venue for current Jewish thought

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of New Books in Jewish Studies

New Books in Jewish Studies

Latest release on Jan 26, 2021

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 1 day ago

Rank #1: Paul Hanebrink, "A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism" (Harvard UP, 2018)

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In A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism (Harvard University Press, 2018), Paul Hanebrink, Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, traces the complex history of the myth of Judeo-Bolshevism. Hanebrink shows how Fascists, Conservatives and Nazis imagined Jewish Bolsheviks as enemies who crossed borders to subvert order from within and bring destructive ideas from abroad. This is a hundred years history that traces how this myth transformed through the Cold War period and continues to this day in new forms. Hanebrink's book breaks new ground, is based on brilliant research and is highly readable.

Dr Max Kaiser teaches at the University of Melbourne. He can be reached at kaiserm@unimelb.edu.au

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Mar 16 2020

37mins

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Rank #2: Joyce Dalsheim, "Israel Has a Jewish Problem: Self Determination as Self Elimination" (Oxford UP, 2019)

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In Israel Has a Jewish Problem: Self Determination as Self Elimination (Oxford University Press, 2019), Joyce Dalsheim considers some of the surprising outcomes of the great Israeli experiment of re-imagining and reconstructing Judaism, Jewishness and the Jewish people as an ethno-national project focused on the state.

Examining the production and assimilation of Jews as "the nation" in the modern state of Israel, this book shows how identity is constrained through myriad struggles over the meanings and practices of being Jewish. Based on years of ethnographic engagement, the book employs Franz Kafka's writing as a theoretical lens in order to frame the seemingly bizarre and self-contradictory processes it describes. While other scholars have explained Jewish identity conflicts in Israel in terms of a dichotomy between the secular and the religious, this book suggests that such an analysis is inadequate. Instead, it traces these struggles to the definition of "religion" itself. It suggests that the problem lies in the way modern identity categories at once disarticulate "religion" from "nation" and at the same time conflate those categories in the figure of the Jew. The struggles over Jewishness that are part of the process of producing the ethnos for the ethno-national state call into question the notion that self-determination in the form of the nation-state is a liberating process. Modern democratic nation-states are meant to liberate citizens because they are understood to be ruled by "the people" and for "the people." But if "the people" exists for the state and its projects, then there is little liberating about the formula of sovereign citizenship. Instead, self-determination becomes a form of self-elimination, narrowing the possible forms of Jewishness. The case of Israel demonstrates that the classic "Jewish Question" in Europe has been transformed but not answered by political sovereignty.

Yaacov Yadgar is the Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Oxford. His most recent books are Israel’s Jewish Identity Crisis: State and Politics in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Sovereign Jews: Israel, Zionism and Judaism (SUNY Press, 2017). You can read more of Yadgar’s work here.

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Jan 02 2020

41mins

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Rank #3: Nicholas Blincoe, "More Noble Than War: A Soccer History of Israel-Palestine" (Bold Type Books, 2019)

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Nicholas Blincoe’s More Noble Than War: A Soccer History of Israel-Palestine (Bold Type Books, 2019) is a beautifully narrated and written history of a century of conflict between pre-state Jews and Palestinians and Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinians after the establishment of the state. It is a story that goes far beyond the history of the conflict, the mirror images of developments in Jewish and Palestinian society, and the internecine ideological infighting and power struggles within the two communities. It paints in graphic detail the incestuous and inseparable relationship between sports and politics and the importance of soccer, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, in identity and nation formation as well as nation building. It also demonstrates in graphic detail how first Jews and then Palestinians exploited soccer to first achieve international recognition of their struggles and then as nations by dispatching teams to tour other countries and being granted membership in world soccer body FIFA. In doing so, Israelis and Palestinians set an example that decades later became a key pillar of the Algerian liberation struggle in the 1950s and 1960s with the National Liberation Front (FLN)’s creation of its own national soccer team that put its fight for independence on the world map. The skeletal facts of Blincoe’s tale have long been known. The significance of Blincoe’s contribution is that he puts flesh on the skeleton by weaving the facts into a meticulously researched and reported, easily accessible narrative in which he brings key players and ideological trends to life. It’s a tale that is all fact but reads like a thriller.

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute.

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Feb 19 2020

1hr 1min

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Rank #4: Peter Bergamin, "The Making of the Israeli Far-Right: Abba Ahimeir and Zionist Ideology” (I. B. Tauris, 2019)

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Peter Bergamin’s, new book, The Making of the Israeli Far-Right: Abba Ahimeir and Zionist Ideology (I. B. Tauris, 2019), is an intellectual biography of one of the most important propagators of the Maximalist Revisionist stream in Zionism ideology. The book positions Ahimeir within the contexts of the Israeli right and the Zionist movement in general, and corrects some common misunderstandings surrounding the man and his ideology.

Yaacov Yadgar is the Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Oxford. His most recent book is Sovereign Jews: Israel, Zionism and Judaism (SUNY Press, 2017). You can read more of Yadgar’s work here.

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Jan 31 2020

37mins

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Rank #5: Nora Gold, "The Dead Man" (Inanna Publications, 2016)

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An intelligent, middle-aged feminist and pitch-perfect musician cannot recuperate from a brief affair with a narcissistic and possibly psychopathic married but famous music critic. By returning to the scene of the affair and listening to the world around her, Eve begins to recover memories of her past, which help her understand, and therefore move on from, her obsession. The Dead Man (Inanna Publications, 2016) a beautiful tale of love, loss, family, and the music of the world around us.

Nora Gold is the prize-winning author of three books of fiction along with other widely published and praised articles and essays. Since 2000 when she left full-time academia, Gold has been affiliated (first as an Associate Scholar and then for six years as its Writer-in-Residence) with OISE/University of Toronto’s Centre for Women’s Studies in Education. This center closed in 2018, but Gold continues to coordinate the highly regarded reading series that she established there, the Wonderful Women Writers Series, now housed at the Toronto Public Library (Deer Park Branch). Gold is also involved in activism and community work, currently with the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute in Boston and JSpaceCanada. When she is not writing, editing, or actively trying to make the world a better place, she is listening to music.

If you enjoyed today’s podcast and would like to discuss it further with me and other New Books network listeners, please join us on Shuffle. Shuffle is an ad-free, invite-only network focused on the creativity community. As NBN listeners, you can get special access to conversations with a dynamic community of writers and literary enthusiasts. Sign up by going to www.shuffle.do/NBN/join

G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series and a prolific baker of healthful breads and pastries. Please contact her through her website (GPGottlieb.com) if you wish to recommend an author (of a beautifully-written new novel) to interview, to listen to her previous podcast interviews, to read her mystery book reviews, or to check out some of her awesome recipes.

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Dec 19 2019

32mins

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Rank #6: Lori Gemeiner-Bihler, "Cities of Refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935-1945" (SUNY Press, 2019)

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In the years following Hitler’s rise to power, German Jews faced increasingly restrictive antisemitic laws, and many responded by fleeing to more tolerant countries. Cities of Refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935-1945 (SUNY Press, 2019), compares the experiences of Jewish refugees who immigrated to London and New York City by analyzing letters, diaries, newspapers, organizational documents, and oral histories. Lori Gemeiner-Bihler examines institutions, neighborhoods, employment, language use, name changes, dress, family dynamics, and domestic life in these two cities to determine why immigrants in London adopted local customs more quickly than those in New York City, yet identified less as British than their counterparts in the United States did as American. By highlighting a disparity between integration and identity formation, Gemeiner-Bihler challenges traditional theories of assimilation and provides a new framework for the study of refugees and migration.

Lori Gemeiner-Bihler is Associate Professor of History at Framingham State University.

Robin Buller is a Doctoral Candidate in History at UNC Chapel Hill.

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Jan 16 2020

1hr 6mins

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Rank #7: Magda Teter, "Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth" (Harvard UP, 2020)

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The myth of Jews killing Christian children emerged in 1144 CE, with the death of a boy named William in Norwich, England. Over the course of several centuries, this myth gained traction and became firmly rooted throughout medieval and early modern Europe. In Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth (Harvard University Press, 2020), Magda Teter traces the history of this myth and analyzes how accusations of ritual murder have followed Jews from the 12th century to the contemporary period.

Magda Teter is Professor of History and Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies at Fordham University.

Lindsey Jackson is a PhD student at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

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Apr 23 2020

1hr 6mins

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Rank #8: Ayelet Hoffmann Libson, "Law and Self-Knowledge in the Talmud" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

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Law and Self-Knowledge in the Talmud (Cambridge UP, 2018) examines the emergence of self-knowledge as a determining legal consideration among the rabbis of Late Antiquity, from the third to the seventh centuries CE. Based on close readings of rabbinic texts from Palestine and Babylonia, Ayelet Hoffman Libson highlights a unique and surprising development in Talmudic jurisprudence, whereby legal decision-making incorporated personal and subjective information, a process that included the rabbis’ willingness to limit their own power.

Hoffman examines the central legal role accorded to individuals' knowledge of their bodies and mental states in areas of law as diverse as purity laws, family law and the laws of Sabbath. By focusing on subjectivity and self-reflection, the Babylonian rabbis transformed earlier legal practices in a way that cohered with the cultural concerns of other religious groups in Late Antiquity. They developed sophisticated ideas about the inner self and incorporated these notions into their distinctive discourse of law.

Renee Garfinkel is a clinical psychologist, writer, and Middle East commentator for The Armstrong Williams Show. Write her at r.garfinkel@yahoo.com or tweet @embracingwisdom

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Feb 12 2020

50mins

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Rank #9: Bari Weiss, "How to Fight Anti-Semitism" (Crown, 2019)

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Anti-semitism is on the rise in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

6 people died this week in Jersey City, New Jersey, in a shootout at a kosher supermarket. The two gunmen appear to have been motivated by anti-semitism and anger against the police. Britain's Labour Party has been rocked by widespread reports of anti-semitism. Labor's second most powerful leader has apologized to the Jewish community and admits the controversy may affect the result of this week's U.K. election.

Our guest in this episode of "How Do We Fix It?" is Bari Weiss, an opinion writer at The New York Times, who covers culture and politics. We discuss her new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism (Crown, 2019).

"When anti-semitism is rising it is the number one sign that a society is dying or maybe is already dead," Bari tells us. "The proximate victims are Jews themselves, but the bigger and overlooked victim, if you look at history, is the surrounding society."

Bari mentions this article by the anti-racist scholar and activist Eric Ward: "Skin in the Game. How Anti-Semitism Animates White Nationalism."

Richard Davies and Jim Meigs are the host of the terrific podcast “How Do We Fix It?,” on which they talk to the world’s most creative thinkers about, well, how to fix things. Lots of things. Important ones. Highly recommended. You can find “How Do We Fix It” on Apple Podcasts.

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Feb 12 2020

33mins

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Rank #10: Frederick Beiser, "Hermann Cohen: An Intellectual Biography" (Oxford UP, 2018)

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The eminent scholar of Neo-Kantianism, Frederick Beiser, has struck again, this time bringing his considerable analytical powers and erudition to the task of intellectual biography. For those of you aware of the distinguished philosophical career of Hermann Cohen (1859 - 1918) and the absence of an intellectual biography in English, Beiser’s scholarship is a long time coming. Though Cohen scholarship has experienced a mini-renaissance in the last thirty years in the English speaking world, knowledge of Cohen, his scholarship on Kant, his activity in the Jewish community, and his battle against anti-semitism in Germany has remained largely confined to academic Jewish studies. Fortunately Beiser’s new book Hermann Cohen: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford UP, 2018) commands a broader audience with much to offer historians, philosophers, theologians in addition to Jewish thinkers. In the course of this NBN conversation, Professor Beiser and Avi Bernstein, Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis University discuss Cohen’s

• Lifelong quest for a “religion of reason”

• Effort to “rescue” Kant from psychologists who had misunderstood him

• Hostility to Spinoza

• Interest in infinitesimally small quantities

• Left-of-center Wilhelmine politics

• System of philosophy

• Unrequited love affair with German culture

• Ontological argumentation for God

Cohen’s posthumously published Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism is left largely unremarked in Beiser’s book, as the author freely admits. With humility Beiser calls on his colleagues in Jewish Studies to go more deeply than he into this “masterpiece” of Cohen’s dotage, for in his estimation the Religion of Reason contains arguments for the idea of God that remain worthy of readers even today.

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Jan 06 2020

56mins

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Rank #11: Ayala Fader, "Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age" (Princeton UP, 2020)

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What would you do if you questioned your religious faith, but revealing that would cause you to lose your family and the only way of life you had ever known? Dr. Ayala Fader explores this question in Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in a Digital Age––her new book with Princeton University Press (2020). She tells the fascinating, often heart-wrenching stories of married ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women in twenty-first-century New York who lead “double lives” in order to protect those they love. While they no longer believe that God gave the Torah to Jews at Mount Sinai, these hidden heretics continue to live in their families and religious communities, even as they surreptitiously break Jewish commandments and explore forbidden secular worlds in person and online. The internet, which some ultra-Orthodox rabbis call more threatening than the Holocaust, offers new possibilities for the age-old problem of religious uncertainty. Fader shows how digital media has become a lightning rod for contemporary struggles over authority and truth.

Drawing on five years of fieldwork with those living double lives and the rabbis, life coaches, and religious therapists who minister to, advise, and sometimes excommunicate them, Fader delves into universal quandaries of faith and skepticism, the ways digital media can change us, and family frictions that arise when a person radically transforms who they are and what they believe.

Dr. Ayala Fader is professor of anthropology at Fordham University investigating contemporary North American Jewish identities and languages in urban centers. She is the author of another book from Princeton University Press: Mitzvah Girls: Bringing Up the Next Generation of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn.

Carrie Lynn Evans is a PhD student at Université Laval in Quebec City.

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May 05 2020

1hr 33mins

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Rank #12: Jaap Doedens, "The Sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4: Analysis and History of Exegesis" (Brill, 2019)

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Who were the ‘sons of God’ in the book of Genesis—and what did they do? The elusive text of Genesis 6:1-4, with its references to ‘sons of God,’ ‘daughters of men,’ and ‘giants,’ has perplexed interpreters for ages. In his book The Sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4 (Brill, 2019), Jaap Doedens offers a comprehensive history and analysis of the various proposals for understanding the sons of God episode. He also evaluates the expression ‘sons of God’ within its ancient Near Eastern context, and sets forth his own understanding of the message and function of Genesis 6:1-4. Join us as we talk with Jaap Doedens about this fascinating, albeit difficult text, Genesis 6 and the sons of God.

Jaap Doedens is College associate professor at Pápa Reformed Theological Seminary in Hungary. He has published articles on the Old Testament, the intertestamental period, and the New Testament in English, Dutch, and Hungarian.

Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus(Peeters, 2012), and Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu

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Feb 25 2020

25mins

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Rank #13: Benjamin Balint, "Jerusalem: City of the Book" (Yale UP, 2019)

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The library is a gathering pool of narratives and of the people who come to find them. It is where we can glimpse immortality; in the library, we can live forever.”

― Susan Orlean, The Library Book.

Benjamin Balint and Merav Mack's Jerusalem: City of the Book (Yale University Press, 2019) is a fascinating journey through Jerusalem’s libraries which tells the story of this city as a place where some of the world’s most enduring ideas were put into words. The writers of Jerusalem, although renowned the world over, are not usually thought of as a distinct school; their stories as Jerusalemites have never before been woven into a single narrative. For the first time ever the stories are told of the custodians, past and present, who safeguard Jerusalem’s literary legacies. By showing how Jerusalem has been imagined by its writers and shelved by its librarians, Mack and Balint tell the untold history of how the peoples of the book have populated the city with texts. In these authors’ hands, Jerusalem itself—perched between East and West, antiquity and modernity, violence and piety—comes alive as a kind of labyrinthine library.

Renee Garfinkel is a psychologist, writer, and Middle East commentator for the nationally syndicated TV program, The Armstrong Williams Show.. Write her at r.garfinkel@yahoo.com or tweet @embracingwisdom.

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Jan 15 2020

45mins

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Rank #14: Wulf Gruner, "The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses" (Berghahn Books, 2019)

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Holocaust research tends to concentrate on certain geographic regions. We know much about the Holocaust in Poland, Germany and Western Europe. We are learning more and more about the 'Holocaust by Bullets' in the territories of the Soviet Union. This is obviously a good thing. But that emphasis leaves us knowing much less about other regions in Europe. In particular we know less about those areas annexed or subordinated to Germany before the outbreak of war in September of 1939.

Wolf Gruner has devoted much of an extraordinarily productive career thinking about these territories. His most recent contribution, The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia: Czech Initiatives, German Policies, Jewish Responses (Berghahn Books, 2019) looks at the Reichs protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Gruner is particularly interested in examining the interplay between local initiatives and the policies and desires of German officials. But his study also alerts us to the danger of assuming that German policies worked in the same way and had the same impact in different spaces. The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia bore some similarities to that in other places, but also differed in ways that lead to new questions and approaches. Gruner has written an important book, one that all interested in the Holocaust should wrestle with.

Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press.

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Jan 23 2020

1hr 3mins

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Rank #15: Steven Ross and Wolf Gruner, "New Perspectives on Krystallnacht" (Purdue UP, 2019)

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It's possible to organize a 20th-century German history course around the date 9 November. In 1918, Phillipp Schedemann proclaimed the creation of a new German Republic. In 1989, 9 November saw the opening of the Berlin Wall.

In between, in 1938, Krystallnacht began on the night of 9 November. Krystallnacht, as most students of the Holocaust know, was a short, intense period of state-sponsored terror against those Germans identified as Jewish. It marked a dramatic escalation in the persecution of Jews in Germany.

We often assume we know everything there is to know about such a well-studied event. But the contributions to Steven Ross and Wolf Gruner's excellent new volume of essays demonstrate how wrong this assumption is. In New Perspectives on Krystallnacht: After 80 years, the Nazi Pogrom in Global Comparison (Purdue University Press, 2019), authors examine media coverage of Krystallnacht, new understanding of the scope and location of the violence, the way in which Krystallnacht has been used in contemporary politics and several other subjects. The essays are uniformly insightful and interesting. As both Gruner and Ross point out in the interview, perhaps the most important result of the project is the identification of a number of new questions historians can ask about Krystallnacht and its meaning. This is perhaps the highest praise one can offer such a volume.

Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press.

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Mar 05 2020

1hr 1min

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Rank #16: Great Books: Hillary Chute on Art Spiegelman's "Maus"

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 Art Spiegelman's Maus is the story of an American cartoonist's efforts to uncover and record his father's story of survival of the Holocaust. It is also a cartoon, where the Jews are mice, the Nazis cats, the Poles dogs, and the French, well, you'll have to read it.

It's a story of survival and also a story of silences, and how the next generation can find and make sense of stories that seem to defy representation in their sheer horror. It's also a triumph in story-telling and a serious meditation on good and evil; on the nature of Romantic; familiar and filial love; on America's legacy of absorbing immigrants who arrive with often unspeakable traumas in a past that finds little resonance in a culture obsessed with entertainment and fast news.

Maus upended the conventions of representing the Holocaust and historical trauma for a far greater audience than the American Jewish communities. It broke several rules: it spoke about past suffering to outsiders, it used low-culture to represent catastrophes, and it refused to turn the catastrophe of the Holocaust into a redemptive tale.

It charted a way for others to take possession of their parents' stories without betraying them but also without letting them overwhelm the next generation, analogous to Alex Haley's magisterial Roots. I spoke with Hillary Chute, a scholar of cartoons and American literature and Distinguished Professor of English and Art + Design at Northeastern University.

Uli Baer is a professor at New York University. He is also the host of the excellent podcast "Think About It"

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Mar 10 2020

1hr

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Rank #17: Maddalena Marinari, "Unwanted: Italian and Jewish Mobilization against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882–1965" (UNC Press, 2020)

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In the late nineteenth century, Italians and Eastern European Jews joined millions of migrants around the globe who left their countries to take advantage of the demand for unskilled labor in rapidly industrializing nations, including the United States. Many Americans of northern and western European ancestry regarded these newcomers as biologically and culturally inferior--unassimilable--and by 1924, the United States had instituted national origins quotas to curtail immigration from southern and eastern Europe.

In her new book Unwanted: Italian and Jewish Mobilization against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882–1965 (UNC Press, 2020), Maddalena Marinari examines how, from 1882 to 1965, Italian and Jewish reformers profoundly influenced the country’s immigration policy as they mobilized against the immigration laws that marked them as undesirable.

Strategic alliances among restrictionist legislators in Congress, a climate of anti-immigrant hysteria, and a fickle executive branch often left these immigrants with few options except to negotiate and accept political compromises. As they tested the limits of citizenship and citizen activism, however, the actors at the heart of Marinari’s story shaped the terms of debate around immigration in the United States in ways we still reckon with today.

This episode is part of a series featuring legal history works from UNC Press. Support for the production of this series was provided by the Versatile Humanists at Duke program.

Maddalena Marinari is Assistant Professor in History; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; and Peace Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College. She has published extensively on immigration restriction and immigrant mobilization.

Siobhan M. M. Barco, J.D. explores U.S. legal history at Duke University.

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Apr 14 2020

37mins

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Rank #18: Nancy Sinkoff, "From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History" (Wayne State UP, 2020)

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From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History (Wayne State University Press, 2020) is the first comprehensive biography of Dawidowicz (1915-1990), a pioneer historian in the field that is now called Holocaust studies. Dawidowicz was a household name in the postwar years, not only because of her scholarship but also due to her political views. Dawidowicz, like many other New York intellectuals, was a youthful communist, became an FDR democrat midcentury, and later championed neoconservatism. Nancy Sinkoff argues that Dawidowicz's rightward shift emerged out of living in prewar Poland, watching the Holocaust unfold from New York City, and working with displaced persons in postwar Germany. Based on over forty-five archival collections, From Left to Right chronicles Dawidowicz's life as a window into the major events and issues of twentieth-century Jewish life.

From Left to Right is structured in four parts. Part 1 tells the story of Dawidowicz's childhood, adolescence, and college years when she was an immigrant daughter living in New York City. Part 2 narrates Dawidowicz's formative European years in Poland, New York City (when she was enclosed in the European-like world of the New York YIVO), and Germany. Part 3 tells how Dawidowicz became an American while Polish Jewish civilization was still inscribed in her heart and also explores when and how Dawidowicz became the voice of East European Jewry for the American Jewish public. Part 4 exposes the fissure between Dawidowicz's European-inflected diaspora nationalist modern Jewish identity and the shifting definition of American liberalism from the late 1960s forward, which also saw the emergence of neoconservatism. The book includes an interpretation of her memoir From that Place and Time, as well as an appendix of thirty-one previously unpublished letters that illustrate the broad reach of her work and person.

Dawidowicz's right-wing politics, sex, and unabashed commitment to Jewish particularism in an East European Jewish key have resulted in scholarly neglect. Therefore, this book is strongly recommended for scholars and general readers interested in Jewish and women's studies.

Nancy Sinkoff is the Academic Director of the Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers—New Brunswick.

Steven Seegel is professor of history at University of Northern Colorado.

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Mar 17 2020

59mins

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Rank #19: Jennifer Cazenave, "An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah" (SUNY Press, 2019)

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Jennifer Cazenave’s An Archive of the Catastrophe: The Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (SUNY Press, 2019) is a fascinating analysis of the 220 hours of outtakes edited out of the final nine and a half-hour 1985 film with which listeners and readers might be familiar. Well known around the world as one of the greatest documentary films ever made, and certainly one of the most important works/artifacts of Holocaust history and memory, Lanzmann’s eventual finished film emerged from an astonishing 230 hours of interview footage shot in various locations. Commissioned originally by the State of Israel to make a film about the catastrophe, Lanzmann collected these testimonies over a period of several years before beginning the epic task of editing the film. He saved the outtakes as a vital repository of accounts of those who had lived through the Shoah. The footage has since been acquired, preserved, and digitized as an archive by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The chapters of Cazenave’s book explore the film’s conceptualization and production, reframing the final film in terms of all that it left out, to think about what was included in relationship to those stories and scenes excluded for different reasons. Over years from an initial dissertation project to this volume, Cazenave pursued the story of the film and its outtakes through archival research, detective work, and close technical, aesthetic and theoretical consideration. The resulting analysis takes author and reader from consideration of the film/archive in relationship to Holocaust trials (and especially the Eichmann trial of 1961), to issues of gender and the feminine, to the question of rescue and refugees, as well as debates about representation, witnessing, and testimony. The book is a wonderful and complex study that will be of great interest to readers in Holocaust and cinema studies. The magnum opus of a French filmmaker working with a largely French crew, and produced with funding provided in part by the French government, the film also illuminates, in its own ways (including its silences) the difficult French past and politics of Holocaust history and memory.

Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada who specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century France and its empire. She is the author of Future Tense: The Culture of Anticipation in France Between the Wars (2009). Her current research focuses on the history of French nuclear weapons and testing since 1945. Her most recent article, '"No Hiroshima in Africa": The Algerian War and the Question of French Nuclear Tests in the Sahara' appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of History of the Present. She lives and reads in Vancouver, Canada. If you have a recent title to suggest for the podcast, please send her an email (panchasi@sfu.ca).

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Jan 20 2020

1hr 2mins

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Rank #20: Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

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Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day.

The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education.

Today I spoke with Leslie Harris about the book. Dr. Harris is a professor of history at Northwestern University. She is the coeditor, with Ira Berlin, of Slavery in New York and the coeditor, with Daina Ramey Berry, of Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (Georgia).

Adam McNeil is a History PhD student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

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Apr 28 2020

59mins

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