In this fascinating new collection of essays, contemporary historians examine the ways earlier historians have framed, written, and "made" the Jewish past. Probing the ideology and methodology of their professional predecessors, American and Israeli historians offer new perspectives on some of the central figures of twentieth-century Jewish historiography, including Gershom Scholem, S. D. Goitein, Yitzhak Baer, Elias Bickermann, and Cecil Roth, as well as the Israeli "New Historians." Although the lives and work of these scholars differ in many ways, Jewish historians have recurrently confronted the challenges posed by assimilation, antisemitism, and various forms of nationalism.
Through their critical examinations of the construction of the Jewish past, the contributors to this volume develop important insights into current attitudes toward the dominant canons and ideals of historical scholarship and the future of historiography. They shine new light on the formation of a historical worldview and the "making" of history.
David N. Myers is associate professor of history and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. David B. Ruderman is Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History and director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
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