How Jewish is Jewish History?

By Moshe Rosman

'Moshe Rosman's subject is one that is much agitating the Jewish academic world. His thoughts on the subject are fascinating, very engaged, and well argued. It is an innovative, independent-minded book.' - Todd Endelman * 'Moshe Rosman is one of the few Jewish historians who can deal with the theoretical issues besetting Jewish historiography, particularly in the light of postmodernist thought. This book sets an agenda that will be discussed for many years hence.' - Shmuel Feiner * 'Cogently written, remarkably combining depth of analysis with clear, straightforward writing...Rosman has confronted the sharpest challenges for Jewish historiography laid down by contemporary modes of thinking.' - Michael A. Meyer, Jewish Quarterly * Review With great vigour and from the vantage point of long experience of writing and teaching, Moshe Rosman treats the key questions that postmodernism raises for the writing of Jewish history. What is the relationship between Jewish culture and history and those of the non-Jews among whom Jews live? Can we - in the light of postmodernist thought - speak of a continuous, coherent Jewish People, with a distinct culture and history? What in fact is Jewish cultural history, and how can it be written? How does gender transform the Jewish historical narrative? How does Jewish history fit into the multicultural paradigm? Jewish historians need to think about these and similar questions if their work is to be taken seriously by mainstream historians and intellectuals, as do educated Jews interested in understanding their own cultural and historical past. Rosman presents a concentrated, coherent, cogent argument as to what considerations must be brought to bear on the writing of Jewish history today. In doing so he provides a valuable resource for students of Jewish history and historiography and a handy tool for scholars who must confront the issues aired here in their own more narrowly focused scholarly works. This book is the co-winner of the 2010 Joseph Schnitzer Book Award. *** "Moshe Rosman's subject is one that is much agitating the Jewish academic world. His thoughts on the subject are fascinating, very engaged, and well argued. It is an innovative, independent-minded book." - Todd Endelman *** "Excellent . . . it is a most important and essential book for anyone interested in Jewish affairs. It is an overview of how academic theories of modernism are changing and have changed perceptions. It is a vital analysis of how many different approaches to Jewish history there are . . . Rosman raises all the fascinating issues." - Jeremy Rosen, The Jewish Press *** "Rosman helps us understand how history has become, in the hands of postmodern awareness, more complicated, less unitary, and still deeply fascinating . . . an important entry in an important debate over the understanding of our multiple pasts in the complex present." - David Wolpe, Tablet Magazine, January 2014


234 pages

Publication Date: 10/30/2008
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781904113850