Book Search:  

 

 
Google full text of our books:

bookjacket

The Jewish Century
Yuri Slezkine

Winner of the 2005 National Jewish Book Award, Ronald S. Lauder Award in Eastern European Studies, Jewish Book Council
Winner of the 2005 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
Winner of the 2004 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Religion, Association of American Publishers

Paperback | 2006 | $31.95 / £21.95 | ISBN: 9780691127606
344 pp. | 6 x 9 | 10 tables.
| SHOPPING CART

eBook | ISBN: 9781400828555 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:
 

This masterwork of interpretative history begins with a bold declaration: The Modern Age is the Jewish Age--and we are all, to varying degrees, Jews.

The assertion is, of course, metaphorical. But it underscores Yuri Slezkine's provocative thesis. Not only have Jews adapted better than many other groups to living in the modern world, they have become the premiere symbol and standard of modern life everywhere.

Slezkine argues that the Jews were, in effect, among the world's first free agents. They traditionally belonged to a social and anthropological category known as "service nomads," an outsider group specializing in the delivery of goods and services. Their role, Slezkine argues, was part of a broader division of human labor between what he calls Mercurians-entrepreneurial minorities--and Apollonians--food-producing majorities.

Since the dawning of the Modern Age, Mercurians have taken center stage. In fact, Slezkine argues, modernity is all about Apollonians becoming Mercurians--urban, mobile, literate, articulate, intellectually intricate, physically fastidious, and occupationally flexible. Since no group has been more adept at Mercurianism than the Jews, he contends, these exemplary ancients are now model moderns.

The book concentrates on the drama of the Russian Jews, including émigrés and their offspring in America, Palestine, and the Soviet Union. But Slezkine has as much to say about the many faces of modernity--nationalism, socialism, capitalism, and liberalism--as he does about Jewry. Marxism and Freudianism, for example, sprang largely from the Jewish predicament, Slezkine notes, and both Soviet Bolshevism and American liberalism were affected in fundamental ways by the Jewish exodus from the Pale of Settlement.

Rich in its insight, sweeping in its chronology, and fearless in its analysis, this sure-to-be-controversial work is an important contribution not only to Jewish and Russian history but to the history of Europe and America as well.

Review:

"One of the most innovative and intellectually stimulating books in Jewish studies in years. . . . [An] idiosyncratic, fascinating and at times marvelously infuriating study of the evolution of Jewish cultural and political sensibility in the 20th century. . . . Nearly every page of Slezkine's exegesis presents fascinating arguments or facts."--Publishers Weekly

"Jews are not unique, [Yuri Slezkine] maintains in his fascinating new study, and it is only European provincialism that makes them seem that way. . . . Slezkin''s interpretation of Jewish history . . . is wonderfully antiparochial not only vis-à-vis the Jews but vis-à-vis America, which, he reminds us, not everyone saw as a promised land and which large portions of the huddled masses struggled to avoid."--Daniel Lazare, The Nation

"To come across a daring, original, sweeping work of history in this age of narrow specialization is not just a welcome event; it is almost a sensation."--Walter Laqueur, Los Angeles Times

"If Osama Bin Laden ever reads this book, he will be spinning in his cave."--Gene Sosin, The New Leader

"For Slezkine, Jews, urban, mobile, literate, flexible, have been role models of adaptability in a changing modern landscape."--Joel Yanofsky, National Post

"Brilliant. . . . The Jewish Century is history on a majestic scale. . . . [It] is fresh, compelling and frequently startling. . . . The clarity of analysis is extraordinary, and the relatively simple conceptual tools Slezkine provides are unexpectedly powerful."--Noah Efron, Jerusalem Report

"This book is witty, sardonic and clever, written with zest and brilliant imagination and presents us with remarkable images of our recent past."--John Levi, Australian Jewish News

More reviews

Table of Contents:

Preface vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
CHAPTER 1: Mercury's Sandals: The Jews and Other Nomads 4
CHAPTER 2: Swann's Nose: The Jews and Other Moderns 40
CHAPTER 3: Babel's First Love: The Jews and the Russian Revolution 105
CHAPTER 4: Hodl's Choice: The Jews and Three Promised Lands 204
Notes 373
Index 413

This book has been translated into:

  • German
  • Hebrew
  • French
  • Lithuanian
  • Italian

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Yuri Slezkine:

Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Apple iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kno eBook Store
  • Kobo eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

  • Shopping Cart:

    • For hardcover/paperback orders:

      For hardcover/paperback orders in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

      Paperback: $31.95 ISBN: 9780691127606

      For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India

      Paperback: £21.95 ISBN: 9780691127606

      Prices subject to change without notice

      File created: 7/11/2014

    Questions and comments to: webmaster@press.princeton.edu
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Videos/Audios
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Subjects
    Series
    Catalogs
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Textbooks
    Media/Reviewers
    Class Use
    Rights/Permissions
    Ordering
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    Links
    F.A.Q.
    PUP Home


    Bookmark and Share
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    American History
    European History
    Jewish Studies
    Anthropology
    Sociology
    More Choices
    Email:
    Country:
    Name: