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The Pity of It All: A Portrait of the German-Jewish Epoch, 1743-1933
by Amos Elon
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312422814, Paperback)
In this important work of historical restoration, Amos Elon shows how a persecuted clan of cattle dealers and wandering peddlers was transformed into a stunningly successful community of writers, philosophers, scientists, tycoons, and activists. In engaging, brilliantly etched portraits of Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, and many others, Elon traces how a small minority came to be perceived as a deadly threat
to German national integrity.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:11 -0400)
"As it's usually told, the story of the German Jews starts at the end, with their tragic demise in Hitler's Reich. Now, in this important work of historical restoration, Amos Elon takes us back to the beginning, chronicling a 150-year period of achievement and integration that at its peak helped produce a golden age, second only to the Renaissance." "Writing with a novelist's eye and a historian's judgment, Elon shows how a persecuted clan of shopkeepers, cattle dealers, and wandering peddlers was transformed into a stunningly successful community of writers, entrepreneurs, poets, musicians, philosophers, scientists, publishers, and political activists - in many ways the flower of secular Europe. He peoples his account with dramatic figures: Moses Mendelssohn, who entered Berlin in 1743 through the gate reserved for Jews and cattle and went on to become "the German Socrates"; Heinrich Heine, Germany's beloved lyric poet who famously referred to baptism as the admission ticket to European culture; Hannah Arendt, whose flight from Berlin after an encounter with the Gestapo signaled the end of the so-called German-Jewish symbiosis. Elon traces how this minority - never more than 1 percent of the population - ultimately came to be perceived as a deadly threat to national integrity and culture. But, as he movingly demonstrates, this devastating outcome was uncertain almost until the end."--BOOK JACKET.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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