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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emancipation - gripping narrative history, 15 Jan 2010
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Alison M. G. Finch "Tig" (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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As a non Jew but with an interest in European history, I found the book really gripping. It is well written, pacy and full of fascinating vignettes of Jewish life from the late 18th century to the rise of the National Socialists in Germany in 1933. It is reminiscent of Simon Schama in the way that it takes individuals and uses their lives and experiences to illustrate what was happening in whole communities across the continent, following the emancipation of the Jews after the French Revolution. The book depicts how you get from a family of peddlars and mystics to intellects like Freud or Schoenberg in 3 generations, how the Jews grasped the opportunities offered them with both hands and made the leap, both psychologically and materially, from the Dark Ages and into the 20th century, dragging most of Europe along with them. The parallels between the Jewish community in Vienna in the mid-19th century and the Jewish community in New York 50 years later is plain, and the author also makes the reader think about what this means for immigrant communities in contemporary Europe, for Islamic, Chinese, Africans, who strive for greater things whilst living in exile in their own countries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, 11 May 2014
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It is nice to read history from a different point of view. how historic events impacted on ordinary people. very well written
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Emancipation
Emancipation by Michael Goldfarb (Hardcover - 6 Feb 2014)
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