A People Apart: The Jews in Europe, 1789-1939

Hardcover | August 19, 1999

byDavid Vital

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The twentieth century has seen both the greatest triumph of Jewish history and its greatest tragedy: the birth of the nation of Israel, and the state-sponsored genocide of the Holocaust. A People Apart is the first study to examine the role played by the Jews themselves, across the whole ofEurope, during the century and a half leading up to these events. David Vital explores the Jews' troubled relationship with Europe, documenting the struggles of this 'nation without a territory' to establish a place for itself within an increasingly polarized and nationalist continent. He examines the clash within the Jewish community between politically neutraltraditionalists and a new group of activists, whose unprecedented demands for national and political self-determination were stimulated both by increasing civil emancipation and the mounting effort to drive the Jews out of Europe altogether. Controversially, Professor Vital concludes that thehistory of the Jewish people was indeed in crucial respects although certainly not all of their own making; at times by their own autonomous action and choice; at others by inaction and default. This powerful and stimulating new analysis represents a watershed in our understanding of the history of the Jews in Europe.

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From Our Editors

The Holocaust is obviously the most illustrative example of what the Jewish people endured as a result of widespread prejudice against their culture and faith. The sad truth is, the Jews suffered hardships in Europe 200 years before the Nazis attempted to systemically eliminate them. Drawing on several sources spanning the years 1789 t...

From the Publisher

The twentieth century has seen both the greatest triumph of Jewish history and its greatest tragedy: the birth of the nation of Israel, and the state-sponsored genocide of the Holocaust. A People Apart is the first study to examine the role played by the Jews themselves, across the whole ofEurope, during the century and a half leading ...

From 1977 to his retirement in 1995, David Vital was Nahum Goldmann Professor of Diplomacy at Tel-Aviv University. present: Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University

other books by David Vital

Zionism: The Formative Years
Zionism: The Formative Years

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The Origins of Zionism
The Origins of Zionism

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see all books by David Vital
Format:HardcoverDimensions:962 pages, 8.43 × 5.43 × 2.09 inPublished:August 19, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198219806

ISBN - 13:9780198219804

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Customer Reviews of A People Apart: The Jews in Europe, 1789-1939

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Less is more Being of a proletariat rearing, a baptism of which neither spawns choice of clarity nor muses the plight of acculturation, nationalities, educational advantages and advancement (or moreover disadvantages and it’s impedibility), religious rectitude, labours of civil liberties and political aspiration alike; the framework and contextual substances of this literary edition to the historical emancipation of European Jewry, while being exhaustive, in documenting the vast array of dichotomies of the Jewish story, should be the resounding enlightenment to the Gentile perspective in a host of intercessions that while in spirit are philanthropically denied, whether by intention, by happenstance or by premeditation, leave the audience pauperised to the saliently tragic Hebraic past, perhaps denoting and ostensibly concluding that while Mr. Vital’s grammatical governance (most particularly his plutocratic diction and over indulgent and long winded sentence structure, albeit completely ludicrous and the antithesis of concise writing), and hitherto may it be suggested that after 900 pages of enduring this anomalistic and endless rhetoric the author of this rendering could take a page out of his own book and embark upon a career in Quietism. Remember Mr. Vital less is often more.
Date published: 2010-02-23

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Old Dispensation: the old regime; two levels of authority, two yokes to bear; social control: the modalities; the Gevir (italic), self-help and self-governance; consensus and confusionPart I: Integration and Disintegration1. Proposals (italic): under the Enlightenment - 'useful' Jews and 'useless' Jews; in England - incrementalism; in France - principles; in the Germanies - inpenetrable hostility and legal rigour; in Poland - deadlock; in Russia - despotism for all...; the Jews as an encumbrance to be dealt with2. Social Fragmentation(italic): emancipation: the early responses; the fears of the orthodox; the enthusiasm of the modernists; the cultural inroads; the Haskalah as a halfway house; modern education - the Russian carrot; military subscription - the Russian lash; the irreversability offragmentation3. Questions From Without and Within(italic): the Jewish question posed; the question formulated; the Jews re-characterized; the Jews re-demonized; calls for treatment; the Decembrists (along with other Russians) try their hand; internal politics: the beginnings; triumph at Damascus...; ... and itslimitations; Jews in general politics and in society at large - the German modelPart II: Aspirations and Equivocations4. Movement(italic): pogroms; poverty; migration; decline; West versus East; Eastern European Jewry as the question5. Auto-Emancipation(italic): leaderlessness as a condition; national self-determination as an idea: Zion as a destination; Jews as revolutionaries; the Bund; Herzl6. Crystallization(italic): intercession institutionalized; 1878 - triumph in Berlin, failure in Bucharest; the limits of libel and the rule of law; Bernard Lazare and the Affair; Russia in 1905 - Jews as targets, Jews as participants; the Zionists stand still; the orthodox circle their wagonsPart III: New Dispensations7. War(italic): the Jewish contingents; the Jewish increment; the 'Palestine idea'; a neutral Zionism, belligerent Zionists; the 'Palestine Idea' revived; self-determination8. Peace(italic): Bolshevik Russia and the binding of its Jews; the great slaughter; who speaks for the Jews?; at the Peace conference9. Captivity(italic): Wilson's world; the nation-state as grindstone; ancient frictions in a new Poland; Polish equivocation; Jewish ambivalence: Germany takes the lead; Machtergreifung(italic; towards extrusion; the Jews of Germany crushed; a community destroyed10. Denouement(italic): on the eve; once again: who will lead them, where will they be led?; a world Jewish Congress; loyalties and principles; the purpose of Zionism, the needs of the Jews; pragmatism and honour; the final rejection; into the nightEpilogueBibliographyIndex

From Our Editors

The Holocaust is obviously the most illustrative example of what the Jewish people endured as a result of widespread prejudice against their culture and faith. The sad truth is, the Jews suffered hardships in Europe 200 years before the Nazis attempted to systemically eliminate them. Drawing on several sources spanning the years 1789 to 1939, David Vital traces the history of the Jewish people throughout Europe in A People Apart.

Editorial Reviews

`David Vital's densely argued and documented A People Apart: The Jews of Europe 1789-1939 is a fiercely dispassionate, perhaps definitive analysis of what led to the destruction of European Jewry'Frederic Raphael The Sunday Times