Mapping the Jewish World

255 pages

August, 2013

ISBN: 9780814720219



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Hasia Diner is Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. She is the author of the award-winning We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945-1962 (NYU Press, 2009).

All books by Hasia R. Diner

Gennady Estraikh is Associate Professor of Yiddish Studies, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University.

All books by Gennady Estraikh

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.


  • "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 rare edited volume that is, without exception, consistently first-rate. Taking as its cue a crucial, but surprisingly sparsely explored moment, 1929 opens up a veritable treasure-chest of knowledge and insight into the diplomatic, spatial, cultural, political, and communal history of contemporary Jews. A true gem of a book."

    —Steven J. Zipperstein, Daniel E. Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and History, Stanford University

  • "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

  • "The book’s 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 collection’s 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