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humanities 201 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 assimilated indigenous peoples with the forest and its wild beasts, a physical and spiritual environment forsaken by God. She demonstrates in a subsequent chapter that Natives were portrayed as lacking a state, as well as the laws and constraints needed to keep passion and sin in check. Finally, her chapter on >Conversion and Conquest= brings out the aggressive, even militaristic, side of Jesuit rhetoric; the fact that France lacked the means to conquer the Natives of Canada as Spain had conquered those of Mexico and Peru, was cause for regret to some French Jesuits. None of these points is entirely new, but all are developed more fully and stated more forcefully than in previous studies. In analysing Jesuit rhetoric in this way, Harvest of Souls does make a valuable contribution to the field, though the analysis has a rather schematic, almost mechanical, quality. Blackburn concentrates on the most brutally judgmental passages from the Jesuit Relations to the neglect of texts that display greater complexity, uncertainty, and even counter-currents subversive of the colonialist thrust. Furthermore, a historian cannot help regretting the exclusive focus on discourse. This is a book about the Jesuits and their texts; the author shows little interest in contemporary work that attempts to retrieve the Native experience of missions and Christianity. She would have been well advised to consult the literature on indigenous peoples and missions in colonial Latin America; studies by Inga Clendinnen, Sabine MacCormack, and William B. Taylor are of particular interest to anyone trying to get beyond the assimilation/resistance polarity that dominates North American mission historiography. (ALLAN GREER) Derek J. Penslar. Shylock=s Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe University of California Press 2001. xi, 374. US $45.00 This is an innovative and important work of modern Jewish history, hard to pigeonhole precisely because its novelty puts it beyond existing rubrics. Derek J.Penslar=s theme is the central role that economic matters have played in modern Jewish identity, social organization, and self-understanding . While focused on German-speaking Jewry, where these debates were most intense, his canvas is all of modern western and central Europe, with some excursions beyond, into eastern Europe, the United States, and Jewish settlement in the land of Israel. The book draws upon and synthesizes historical treatments of economically related issues in a variety of countries. To this it adds material drawn from wide reading in nineteenth-century Jewish magazines and newspapers, as well the archives of Jewish philanthropic organizations. The book convincingly demonstrates the power of economic issues in shaping modern Jewish consciousness and activism. 202 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 The story is rich in ironies. Above all, much of modern Jewish economic reflection and communal activism was based on internalization of antiSemitic criticisms of the links between Jews and commerce. From the eighteenth century onward, there were two prongs to the anti-Semitic critique to which Jewish intellectuals and communal activists were forced to respond, both of which maintained that Jews were parasitical. The first prong was directed at the mass of poor Jews, who were characterized as savage, unscrupulous, and dangerous. The second was directed at the small but salient minority of privileged (in the legal sense), rich Jewish bankers, factors, and financiers, who were feared as a cabal of astonishing acumen and vast, if obscure, power. Jews, as Penslar points out, were in many respects the paradigmatic middleman minority, concentrated in commercial occupations considered by the dominant pre-capitalist elites to be too low in status and too high in risk. With the spread of the liberal state, which offered Jews greater equality of opportunity, they prospered disproportionately in the realms of commerce and the free professions. Yet for the losers in the process of capitalist modernization, the Jew was the symbol of the revolutionary and transformative capitalist process that was destroying their traditional livelihood, thus reforging the link between anti-Semitism and economic resentment. Some Jewish leaders and activists, as Penslar shows, responded by taking this analysis to heart, and trying to transform the occupational structure...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 201-203
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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