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A Chosen Few (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – 1 Apr 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; Reprint edition (1 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345448146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345448149
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,681,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"This book is a fascinating review of the changing life of Jews and Judaism and Europeans in general since the Second World War."
"-Rocky Mountain News
"
"Kurlansky does an astonishingly informative job here, covering a vast array of individuals and communities throughout Europe, chronicling the economic, political, and cultural trends that reshaped and often played havoc with their lives and destinies. His descriptions of life in Antwerp, Paris, Budapest, and Amsterdam are superb, while his chapters on Poland are among the best I've read."
-SUSAN MIRON
"Forward
"
"A richly descriptive and insightful survey of post-Holocaust European Jewry . . . With a novelist's eye for irony and description, [Kurlansky] offers many moments of transcendence and humor; entertaining culture clashes between communists and capitalists, religious and secular, Zionists and diasporists. . . . A lively, penetrating follow-up to Holocaust readings that speaks volumes about the resiliency of the Jewish people."
"-Kirkus Reviews
"
"Kurlansky's collection of case histories unfolds like a novel."
"-The Jewish Advocate
"

This book is a fascinating review of the changing life of Jews and Judaism and Europeans in general since the Second World War.
Rocky Mountain News

Kurlansky does an astonishingly informative job here, covering a vast array of individuals and communities throughout Europe, chronicling the economic, political, and cultural trends that reshaped and often played havoc with their lives and destinies. His descriptions of life in Antwerp, Paris, Budapest, and Amsterdam are superb, while his chapters on Poland are among the best I ve read.
SUSAN MIRON
Forward

A richly descriptive and insightful survey of post-Holocaust European Jewry . . . With a novelist s eye for irony and description, [Kurlansky] offers many moments of transcendence and humor; entertaining culture clashes between communists and capitalists, religious and secular, Zionists and diasporists. . . . A lively, penetrating follow-up to Holocaust readings that speaks volumes about the resiliency of the Jewish people.
Kirkus Reviews

Kurlansky s collection of case histories unfolds like a novel.
The Jewish Advocate
"

From the Inside Flap

A POWERFUL, DEEPLY MOVING NARRATIVE OF HOPE REBORN
IN THE SHADOW OF DESPAIR
Fifty years after it was bombed to rubble, Berlin is once again a city in which Jews gather for the Passover seder. Paris and Antwerp have recently emerged as important new centers of Jewish culture. Small but proud Jewish communities are revitalizing the ancient centers of Budapest, Prague, and Amsterdam. These brave, determined Jewish men and women have chosen to settle-or remain-in Europe after the devastation of the Holocaust, but they have paid a price. Among the unexpected dangers, they have had to cope with an alarming resurgence of Nazism in Europe, the spread of Arab terrorism, and the impact of the Jewish state on European life.
Delving into the intimate stories of European Jews from all walks of life, Kurlansky weaves together a vivid tapestry of individuals sustaining their traditions, and flourishing, in the shadow of history. An inspiring story of a tenacious people who have rebuilt their lives in the face of incomprehensible horror, "A Chosen Few is a testament to cultural survival and a celebration of the deep bonds that endure between Jews and European civilization.
"Consistently absorbing . . . "A Chosen Few investigates the relatively uncharted territory of an encouraging phenomenon."
"-Los Angeles Times
"I can think of no book that portrays with such intelligence, historical understanding, and journalistic flair what life has been like for Jews determined to build lives in Europe."
-SUSAN MIRON
"Forward

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this to be a very readable account of the "missing years" of European Jewry after the Holocaust. Having interviewed many people who lived through these times he details the changes and struggles through their experiences. Certainly a good starting point for anyone interested in learning about Judaism in mainland Europe after World War 2.
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Format: Paperback
With his extraordinary breadth of vision and depth of interest, Mark Kurlansky has written an epic which is at once heart-breaking and inspiring.
UNFORTUNATELY the proof readers for the book have let him down badly; in a book of this nature there is absolutely no excuse for the frequent mis-spelling of "minyan" as "minion".
Yes, it may appear a pedantic quibble, but it does detract from a work of very considerable scholarship.
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Format: Hardcover
More than typing a review , I want to deeply congratulate the author. I am 40 and it is the best book in the subject I have ever read. Eventhough English is not my native language I can feel the passion the writter used in describing us a real life movie in written words I should say BRAVO for his book.... ...I wish I can get in contact with the author and ask thousands of questions.......
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Format: Paperback
Excellent service, book recieved, very pleased Thank you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 star content, 2 star editing 14 Jun. 2011
By TomasG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry is proving to be a very interesting book. It is not just a case study of the resurgence of Jewish life in Europe, post-WWI, but of the political histories of many Eastern European countries, as well. I am learning more about this time period that was ever taught in public schools in the late `60's.

My main problem with this Kindle version of the book is the extremely poor editing of the electronic version. It appears as though the pages were scanned with OCR readers, and the discrepancies were either not caught or were ignored by human proofreaders. Many of the Eastern European names of people and places were absolutely butchered - and not even in the same way from page to page. Luckily, most were repeated often enough in the same chapter that I could generally figure out these mis-spellings well enough to make sense of the text.

I want to continue reading Mr. Kurlansky's books as Kindle editions ( I read Salt in trade paperback format and thoroughly enjoyed it), and can only hope that the conversion to electronic format is better done.
5.0 out of 5 stars Kurlansky sees and tells the truth 17 April 2014
By Samoa W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many stories about Jews who returned to European cities after the Holocaust and tried to resume normal lives. Compared to the pre WWII population, only a small number of Jews returned and stayed. Their stories are amazing and some are very sad. In a number of countries Anti-Semitism resurfaced and again ruined lives. Mark Kurlansky tells the truth as he sees it even if it is painful.
The book was originally published in 1995. This paperback has a updated introduction at 2002. I only wish the whole text had been updated. Perhaps a sequel is in order.
5.0 out of 5 stars Kurlansky 28 Sept. 2013
By N. Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book appealed to me as I like Kurlansky's writing and European history. I expect it to be an enlightening read.
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST! 18 Nov. 2012
By Jose Sandino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a must to read this book for a clear understanding of a chosen nation surviving among evil forces through world history.They deserve a country of their own.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Subject 24 Mar. 2013
By Karen A. Walker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved Kurlansky's "Salt" and "Cod". This book has taken two years for me to get through. I'm plugging away at it, but it lacks the passion of his other books. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not so impressed with this one.
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