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The Jews : history, memory, and the present

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The Jews : history, memory, and the present
Call No: 944.0049 V64j

Call Number944.0049 V64j
Statement of ResponsibilityPierre Vidal-Naquet ; translated and edited by David Ames Curtis ; with a foreword by Paul Berman and a new preface by the author.
Creators & ContributorsVidal-Naquet, Pierre (author)
Curtis, David Ames (translator)
Curtis, David Ames (editor)
Berman, Paul (contributor)
SummaryPierre Vidal-Naquet, internationally celebrated author of Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust, here takes readers on a fascinating journey through key phases of Jewish history over more than two millennia. Drawing on a vast reservoir of historical knowledge, Vidal-Naquet unravels a series of myths and ideologies that have become entangled with Jewish history over the centuries. The Jews covers subjects as deep in the past as the Jewish encounter with Hellenization in the second century B.C.E., and as current as modern-day Israeli-Palestinian relations. The Jews opens in the classical period, looking in particular at the work of Flavius Josephus, who wrote the original account of the events at Masada. Resisting the powerful currents of ideological orthodoxy, Vidal-Naquet examines what he views as Israeli nationalist distortions of the historical and archaeological record at Masada. In the promotion of an ideal of Jewish unity in the ancient world, he contends, some have chosen to ignore evidence of pluralism, civil strife, and the power of the Diaspora experience in the Jewish past. The book continues with an engaging discussion of the era of Jewish emancipation in Europe, during the French Revolution and thereafter, in which Vidal-Naquet explores the complex meanings of emancipation and assimilation. Employing previously unexamined material written by Alfred Dreyfus himself, he continues with a reevaluation of the Dreyfus affair, the episode of anti-Semitism and betrayal that shook France at the turn of the century. The Jews explores books, films, and eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust, including works by Arno Mayer, Claude Lanzmann, and Primo Levi. The book looks also at a recently published wartime journal by Vidal-Naquet's father, written in the years before he was deported. Vidal-Naquet is equally concerned with the disturbing phenomenon of Holocaust denial, pointing to the question of the gas chambers as central to refuting revisionist claims. The book closes with a personal account of growing up in Vichy France: integrating the tools of historiography with his own vivid memories of the war years, Vidal-Naquet recounts in moving detail the Occupation and the fateful day the Gestapo arrived at his home to take away his parents.—Publisher
ContentsTranslator's Note 
Preface to the English-Language Edition 

Part One: Origins and History 
1. Forms of Political Activity in the Jewish World, Principally Around the First Century C.E. 
2. Flavius Josephus and Masada 
3. Flavius Josephus and the Prophets 
4. Apropos of Zakhor 

Part Two: Emancipation and History 
5. The Privilege of Liberty 
6. Dreyfus in the Affair and in History 
7. Jewish Prism, Marxist Prism 

Part Three: Destruction, Memory, and the Present 
8. The Hero, the Historian, and Choice 
9. The Historian and the Test of Murder 
10. The Shoah's Challenge to History 
11. On an Interpretation of the Great Massacre: Arno Mayer and the 'Final Solution' 
12. And by the Power of a Word 
13. A Wonderful School 
14. The Harmonics of Szymon Laks 
15. Presentation of a Document: The Journal of Attorney Lucien Vidal-Naquet 

Part Four: History, Memory, and the Present 
16. Reflections at the Margins of a Tragedy 
17. Return to Israel 
18. 'Inquiry into a Massacre', by Amnon Kapeliouk 
19. The Anti-Peace Colonists 

Part Five: Conclusion 
20. Recollections of a Witness: Protestants and Jews During the Second World War in France 

Physical Description xxiii, 337 pages ; 24 cm
Carrier Typevolume
PublisherNew York : Columbia University Press
EditionCasebound edition
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages [255]–307) and index