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On The Eve: The Jews of Europe before the Second World War [Hardcover]

Bernard Wasserstein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Review

A wide-ranging, marvelously complete overview of a diverse, teeming civilization poised for ruin. (Kirkus)

A substantive, perceptive, and highly valuable kaddish for lost lives and lost worlds. (Publishers Weekly)

Only the finest historian could hope to expose the anti-semitic idiocies of 1930s Europe and explore the Jewish response in a sensitive and even-handed way. Enter Wasserstein, who has written one of the most important books I've ever read. (Jonathan Wright Herald)

Enthralling, heartbreaking ... the most poignant thing of all in Wasserstein's admirable book is the last photograph that illustrates it ... 'I have no prayer but this - that we shall meet again, alive.' (San Francisco Chronicle)

A well-written and wideranging account that provides a powerful impression of a world that was soon to be destroyed and thus of the utter destruction of the Holocaust. Ably captures the diversity of Jewish life and activity in the 1930s. (Historical Association)

There is much to admire about Bernard Wassertein's On the Eve. A broad, detailed and brilliantly written examination of the Jewish experience in Europe prior to the Holocaust. (BBC History magazine)

This is a devastating book that transforms our understanding of the twisted path to Europe's most shameful episode and, crucially it tells its stories from the perspective of those who suffered. The scholarship is magnificent and the poignancy is heart-breaking... Only the finest historian could hope to expose the anti-Semitic idiocies of 1930's Europe and explore the Jewish response in a sensitive and even-handed way. Enter Wasserstein, who has written one of the most important books I've ever read. (Glasgow Herald)

[an] evocative account of Jewish life in Europe...[this book is] nothing less than a marvel. Nothing escapes his gaze... Wasserstein's great achievement is to show just how far Jewish life in Europe was embattled even before war broke out (Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times)

A rich and nuanced history of the 10 million Jews of Europe before the Second World War... On the Eve is a heartrending, unabashedly compassionate portrait of doomed European Jewry. (Jewish Ideas Daily)

A deeply fascinating, moving book. (Scotsman)

An extraordinary and unparalleled mapping-out of the Jews of Europe on the eve of the genocide. (The Tablet)

A model of scholarship. (Oxford Times)

Comprehensive and well reserached (Eastern Daily Press 2012-05-16)

Wasserstein deserves enormous praise for his courage in removing the protective cloak of martyrdom to examine the naked body beneath ... Great books are those that stay with the reader, abrading consciousness for years afterward. "On the Eve" is such a book. (Washington Post)

Book Description

A major new history examining the realities of Jewish life across Europe up to the very eve of World War Two.

About the Author

Bernard Wasserstein has been a historian of modern Jewish and Middle Eastern history for over thirty years. He taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was Professor of History at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. From 1996 to 2000 he served as President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; he was Professor of History at the University of Glasgow and is now Professor of History at Chicago University. He is the critically acclaimed author of Israel and Palestine [9781846680922] and Divided Jerusalem [9781861973559], both published by Profile.
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