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Book Reviews 185 recognition ofJudaism. At times Jews even seem to be guaranteed extensive freedoms and privileges-both collectIvely in charters and in individual privileges. The major exception is the aggressively anti-Jewish position of many of the Visigothic sources. The representation of, and assumptions about, Jews in the Middle Ages were complex, internally referential, and changeable depending upon circumstances. Linder's book is an extremely useful and usable documentation of this complex theoretical position of the Jews in the legal sources of the early Middle Ages. Although the comprehensive nature ofthe presentation seems repetitive, it does lend the reader a clear sense of the development of Jewry law taken as a whole and more specific periods or issues taken individually. This book, therefore, is appropriate and very valuable as both a reference and a teaching tool. Dean Phillip Bell Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies Die Juden im Mittelalterlichen Reich, by Michael Toch. Munich: Oldenbourg Press, 1998. (Enzyklopadie deutscher Geschichte, volume 44). 198 pp. DM 29.80. This book is perhaps the most useful synthesis of the history and historiographical treatment of the Jews in medieval Germany that has ever been written. Michael Toch, one of the leading experts ofthe history ofthe Jews in late medieval and early modem Germany, has woven an impressive volume that balances a broad overview ofresearch on, with a detailed account of the newest and most controversial arguments about, the subject. The book, which is the 44th in a planned series of 100 volumes on subjects in medieval, early modem, and modem German history, is well-organized and very clearly and forcefully written, and includes very helpful marginal notes, good indexes, and an expansive bibliography of books in German, Hebrew, and English that is organized according to the sections of the book. Toch begins the book with a very concise discussion of Diaspora and rabbinic Judaism and early Jewish and Christian relations. He then quickly moves into the early settlement of the Jews in the ninth and tenth centuries and the economic and social history of the German Jews until the twelfth century. Throughout the first part of the book Toch draws in very broad strokes the history of the Jews in Germany until the sixteenth century, combining expertly statistical information and narrative comments. Although he offers a thorough treatment ofthe subject as a whole, Toch's presentation of the later Middle Ages is somewhat more nuanced. Toch is also careful to balance internal cultural and communal history with discussions of the position of the Jews within a larger Christian environment. 186 SHOFAR Fa111999 Vol. 18, No. I In the second part of the book Toch assesses the historiographical scholarship on the subject since the end ofthe nineteenth century and provides a very useful overview of the source- and reference-materials available. In this part of the book Toch presents a wide array oftopics that have recently received substantial discussion, including, for example: the origins of Ashkenazic Judaism; Jewish family life and childhood; communal social stratification; the relationship between popular and elite culture; the settlement and economic history ofthe Jews; the legal position of the Jews; animosity toward Jews (in, for example, the crusades, accusations of ritual murder, blood libel, host desecration, and the variety of expulsions); and the interactions between Jews and Christians and the subsequent influences that Judaism and Christianity may have had on each other. This work is a welcome and long-awaited reference tool that is valuable for scholars working in the field and abundantly informative and user-friendly for thosejust beginning their explorations of the subject. The one drawback of the book, at least for the non-German reading audience, is that it is not available in English. An English translation would prove to be an important teaching tool at any level; in the absence of such a translation, this book shouldbe considered required reading for graduate students in the field. Dean Phillip Bell Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies Jewish Emancipation in a German City: Cologne, 1798-1871, by Shulamit S. Magnus. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997. 336 pp. $49.50. Shulamit Magnus has written a good book on interesting and important issues, largely dealing with the rise of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 185-186
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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