Winner of the 2014 National Jewish Book Award, Anthologies and Collections
The year 1929 represents a major turning point in interwar Jewish society, proving to be a year when Jews, regardless of where they lived, saw themselves affected by developments that took place around the world, as the crises endured by other Jews became part of the transnational Jewish consciousness. In the United States, the stock market crash brought lasting economic, social, and ideological changes to the Jewish community and limited its ability to support humanitarian and nationalist projects in other countries. In Palestine, the anti-Jewish riots in Hebron and other towns underscored the vulnerability of the Zionist enterprise and ignited heated discussions among various Jewish political groups about the wisdom of establishing a Jewish state on its historical site. At the same time, in the Soviet Union, the consolidation of power in the hands of Stalin created a much more dogmatic climate in the international Communist movement, including its Jewish branches.
Featuring a sparkling array of scholars of Jewish history, 1929 surveys the Jewish world in one year offering clear examples of the transnational connections which linked Jews to each other—from politics, diplomacy, and philanthropy to literature, culture, and the fate of Yiddish—regardless of where they lived. Taken together, the essays in 1929 argue that, whether American, Soviet, German, Polish, or Palestinian, Jews throughout the world lived in a global context.
"Anthologies are notoriously difficult to evaluate because they are disparate. Withal, the interesting material presented in these articles more than compensates for the inability of some contributors to march under the assigned 1929 banner." ~Henry L. Feingold, The Journal of American History
"This wide-ranging and innovative collection of essays presents the distinct features of the interwar period in Jewish history throughout the world. Using the year 1929 as a focal point, the volume's essays depict the transition from the tumultuous, yet often hopeful, 1920s to the dire straits of the 1930s. This is a splendid overview of the demographic, political and cultural ferment of the era." ~Derek Penslar,University of Oxford and University of Toronto
"The books greatest success lies not only in elevating the importance of 1929 as a turning point in Jewish history, but also in problematizing the very notion of periodization. Furthermore, the collections focus on this particular year manages to successfully upset several paradigms dominating the study of modern Jewish history and literature. This volume will prove a welcome addition to surveys of modern Jewish history" ~American Historical Review