Blood Libel in Late Imperial Russia

Blood Libel in Late Imperial Russia : The Ritual Murder Trial of Mendel Beilis

3 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

On Sunday, March 20, 1911, children playing in a cave near Kiev made a gruesome discovery: the blood-soaked body of a partially clad boy. After right-wing groups asserted that the killing was a ritual murder, the police, with no direct evidence, arrested Menachem Mendel Beilis, a 39-year-old Jewish manager at a factory near the site of the crime. Beilis's trial in 1913 quickly became an international cause celebre. The jury ultimately acquitted Beilis but held that the crime had the hallmarks of a ritual murder. Robert Weinberg's account of the Beilis Affair explores the reasons why the tsarist government framed Beilis, shedding light on the excesses of antisemitism in late Imperial Russia. Primary documents culled from the trial transcript, newspaper articles, Beilis's memoirs, and archival sources, many appearing in English for the first time, bring readers face to face with this notorious trial.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 204 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 15.24mm | 294.83g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 19 b&w illus., 2 maps
  • 0253011078
  • 9780253011077
  • 844,508

Review quote

Boasting depth as well as breadth, this book is an invaluable resource for scholars, undergraduates, and graduate students in the fields of Russian and European history, Jewish studies, and religious studies. * Journal of Modern History * The combination of text and sources make this very useful for studies of religious prejudice and the over-coming of religious prejudice. The book is also a fascinating read. It is a basic study for collections dealing with the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe as well as Eastern Christianity. * Religious Studies Review * Weinberg's short work provides a sober and informed analysis of the affair, coupled with a collection of relevant primary source documents. * Slavic Review * In an accessible volume, Robert Weinberg has offered readers historical analysis and a selection of primary documents from the trial. * Canadian Slavonic Papers * Overall this book succeeds in providing both a concise yet thorough account of the trial and an exploration of the significance of the Beilis Affair for late imperial Russian society. It also provides a historical perspective on an important case from the history of antisemitism, and in so doing contributes to our understanding of the social history of late imperial Russia. * Slavonic & East European Review * A first-rate summary of how leading historians of the period now view the trial's backdrop can be found in Robert Weinberg's excellent new volume . . . which tells the story through well-chosen and translated primary documents together with an insightful analysis.Winter 2015 * Jewish Review of Books * [A] riveting history. . . Weinberg has culled documents from the trial transcripts, newspaper articles, and Beilis's memoirs, many appearing for the first time in English, to bring us face to face with this notorious trial.Fall 2014 * Jewish Book World * Weinberg has assembled and translated a collection of documents from the case, such as contemporary newspaper accounts and excerpts from the verbatim trial scripts [...] The documents convincingly illustrate not only the virulent anti-Semitism of the right wing press, which pushed forward the ritual murder idea at the time when most investigators found the concept ludicrous, but also the contradictory testimonials and unreliable witness statements that the prosecution used to builds its case against Beilis.September 19, 2014 * Times Literary Supplement * This is an excellent historical reconstruction told in a gripping and deeply engaging style. Highly recommended for all library collections. * AJL Reviews * In 1913, in the most sensational trial of its kind until then, Menachem Mendel Beilis, a 39-year-old Jewish factory manager in Kiev, went on trial for ritual murder, a crime dredged from the twisted fantasies of Russian reactionaries. An international cause celebre, the trial confirmed once and for all that Czar Nicholas II's autocratic regime was a bastion of deep-seated antisemitism. Robert Weinberg . . . skillfully reconstructs the events that led to this appalling miscarriage of justice.5/20/14 * SheldonKirshner.com * This concisely written book forcefully tells the story of the outrageous ritual murder trial of Mendel Beilis in Kiev. Through careful review of published and unpublished sources . . . the author lays out the process resulting in a trial during which the state prosecution attempted to convict the entire Jewish religion of the crime of ritual murder. . . What concerns the author is that readers should come to recognize the power of prejudice, hatred, fear, and suspicion, combined with state interest, to suppress challenges to traditional authority.11/14/14 * Jewish Book Council * Weinberg's research is based on a wealth of published and unpublished sources, including trial transcripts, newspaper articles, political cartoons and Beilis's memoirs. . . This is an excellent historical reconstruction told in a gripping and deeply engaging style.Feb/March 2015 * Assn Jewish Libraries *show more

About Robert Weinberg

Robert Weinberg is Professor of History at Swarthmore College and author of The Revolution of 1905 in Odessa: Blood on the Steps (IUP, 1993) and Stalin's Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan and the Making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland.show more

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsDramatis PersonaeIntroduction: A Murder Without a Mystery1. The Initial Investigation2. The Case Against Beilis3. The Trial4. Summation and VerdictEpilogueDocumentsBibliographyNotesIndexshow more

Rating details

2 ratings
3 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 50% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 50% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X