Making Jews Modern

Making Jews Modern : The Yiddish and Ladino Press in the Russian and Ottoman Empires

4.09 (11 ratings by Goodreads)

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On the eve of the 20th century, Jews in the Russian and Ottoman empires were caught up in the major cultural and social transformations that constituted modernity for Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewries, respectively. What language should Jews speak or teach their children? Should Jews acculturate, and if so, into what regional or European culture? What did it mean to be Jewish and Russian, Jewish and Ottoman, Jewish and modern? Sarah Abrevaya Stein explores how such questions were formulated and answered within these communities by examining the texts most widely consumed by Jewish readers: popular newspapers in Yiddish and Ladino. Examining the press's role as an agent of historical change, she interrogates a diverse array of verbal and visual texts, including cartoons, photographs, and advertisements. This original and lively study yields new perspectives on the role of print culture in imagining national and transnational communities; Stein's work enriches our sense of cultural life under the rule of multiethnic empires and complicates our understanding of Europe's polyphonic modernities.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 144.8 x 223.5 x 22.9mm | 453.6g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 48 b&w photos
  • 0253218934
  • 9780253218933

Table of contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

List of Figurues
Note on Transliteration, Dates, and Terms

Introduction: Making Jews Modern

Part I. The Yiddish and Ladino Press in the Russian and Ottoman Empires
1. Creating A Yiddish Newspaper Culture
2. Creating a Ladino Newspaper Culture

Part II. Imaging Culture
3. Iconographies of Agitation
4. The Science of Healthy Living

Part III. Advertising Aspiration
5. Images of Daily Life
6. Advertising Anxiety

Epilogue: Imprints of Empire

Works Cited
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Review quote

In this beautifully conceived, meticulously documented, and intriguing comparative study, Sarah Abrevaya Stein examines the role of the vernacular press as a medium of Jewish modernization in the Tsarist and Ottoman Empires during the latter decades of the nineteeth century and the first decade of the twentieth.Fall 2005 * SHOFAR * . . . a detailed yet very readable and thought-provoking comparative study based on rich primary documentation and numerous studies . . . . Stein provides a rare opportunity for students and scholars of Jewish society in the Russian or the Ottoman empires to gain better understanding of parallel developments in the other society that might at times sharpen the characteristics of their own case study.Vol. 41 2009 -- Rachel Simon * Princeton University Library * [This] work raises a host of important issues regarding two Jewish communities [Russian and Ottoman]in the throes of modernization, seen from a rare comparative perspective. * Journal of Interdisiplinary History * [B]y adopting a comparative approach to two major Jewish communities that are rarely studied together-despite their proximity to one another-Stein makes an important contribution to Jewish historiography. * AJS Review * Making Jews Modern is a major contribution to an understanding of modern Jewish history. It asks numerous historiographical questions and in so doing, traverses traditionally sealed terrains with regards to place and cultural groupings. . . . This is a complex and thought-provoking book. Vol. 88, no. 4, October 2010 * Slavonic and East European Review * Making Jews Modern is a major contribution to an understanding of modern Jewish history.Oct. 2010 * Slavonic and East European Review * Scholars of Russian history will be especially interested in [Stein's] analysis of the cartoons related to the 1905-7 Revolution, but they should not overlook the model for comparative history presented in this startlingly original work. * The Russian Review * Stein's careful study of two newspapers, and the communities that supported them, provides a new and important model for further scholarship on making Jews modern. * Canadian Slavonic Papers * Making Jews Modern, in itself an engaging and thought-provoking analysis of the everyday progress of Jewish communities toward modernization under the uneasy conditions of the two most conservative European empires, may be regarded as a pioneering foray into a new field of study, 'Jews and Empires in History.' * Slavic Review *
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About Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle.
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Rating details

11 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 27% (3)
4 55% (6)
3 18% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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