Diaspora Nationalism and Jewish Identity in Habsburg Galicia

Diaspora Nationalism and Jewish Identity in Habsburg Galicia

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The triumph of Zionism has clouded recollection of competing forms of Jewish nationalism vying for power a century ago. This study explores alternative ways to construct the modern Jewish nation. Jewish nationalism emerges from this book as a Diaspora phenomenon much broader than the Zionist movement. Like its non-Jewish counterparts, Jewish nationalism was first and foremost a movement to nationalize Jews, to construct a modern Jewish nation while simultaneously masking its very modernity. Diaspora Nationalism and Jewish Identity in Habsburg Galicia traces this process in what was the second largest Jewish community in Europe, Galicia. The history of this vital but very much understudied community of Jews fills a critical lacuna in existing scholarship while revisiting the broader question of how Jewish nationalism - or indeed any modern nationalism - was born. Based on a wide variety of sources, many newly uncovered, this study challenges the still-dominant Zionist narrative by demonstrating that Jewish nationalism was a part of the rising nationalist movements in Europe.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 18 b/w illus. 1 map 8 tables
  • 1139013645
  • 9781139013642

Review quote

'This book succeeds in setting Jewish nationalism in Galicia firmly in the context of the European national movements gaining adherents in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. This very fine study will prove of interest to scholars and students of Habsburg Central and Eastern Europe, Jewish history, and nationalism.' Daniel Unowsky, Austrian History Yearbook 'Joshua Shanes's new book is an ambitious and important study of Jewish nationalist sensibility and political mobilization in Habsburg Galicia. It should substantially recast how Jewish historians imagine the relationship of both assimilationist and traditional east European Jews to ideas of Jewish nationhood; how we understand the character of Jewish nationalism in eastern Europe in the age of mass politics; and how we think about early Zionism itself ... Shanes's book is an important work of Jewish political history in the classical and narrower sense too: throughout the study and especially in its culminating fifth chapter, he is attentive to Jewish political mobilizations around parliamentary elections ... This is a rich book with a number of distinct but closely nested arguments that historians of east European Jewry and modern Jewish nationalism will want to consider carefully.' Kenneth B. Moss, AJS Reviewshow more

Table of contents

1. Galician Jewry under Habsburg rule: the first century, 1772-1883; 2. Neither Germans nor Poles: Jewish nationalism before Herzl, 1883-96; 3. Building a nation of readers: the emergence of a Yiddish populist press in Galicia; 4. A broadening audience: organizational and ideological change, 1896-1904; 5. The 1907 parliamentary elections and the rise of Jewish mass politics.show more

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