In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

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 a Jewish community in Cologne in the first half of the nineteenth century. There is more here than meets the eye, particularly in the book title. Magnus provides a history of the modem Jewish community as well as of Jewish emancipation, a history of Cologne as well as a history of the Jews in that city, and an insight into the conflicting loyalties of peoples loosely called "German" in an era of rapidly changing state structures and identities. One ofthe consistently strong features ofthis book is its placement ofCologne and its Jewish residents within the context of French and Prussian law as well as power. Since Jews had not lived in Cologne for centuries, their arrival in 1798 and after meant the formation of a community out of pieces drawn from a variety of areas, mostly the Rhineland. And it meant a political problem for Jews but also for a city bent on maintaining its own laws in the face of first French and later Prussian domination. Magnus solidly establishes the city's early position on Jews as hostile; indeed, the city Book Reviews 187 spent years fighting the Prussian government, which called for a more tolerant and liberal attitude toward Jews than Cologne was willing to accept. The material of this book is largely presented in narrative form, but with sizeable amounts ofsocial and economic analysis (especially chapter 6). Overall, this approach works, but at the expense ofreadability. This is not, I must add, because of the social and economic data, but, rather, because of the difficulty in moving back and forth between two rather different modes of presentation. It will, I think, be used more by researchers and students ofthe era than by those more generally interested in Jewish or German-Jewish history. Any work devoted to such a small segment of Germany, whether considered geographically or demographically, needs to be situated within the larger world of German and Jewish history and historiography. While Magnus attempts this, it is not a strength ofher work. She succeeds in placing Cologne and its Jewish community in relation to France and Prussia, but the same cannot be said of comparisons to developments either in Jewish emancipation or in municipal history. On several occasions, e.g., p. 118, she makes reference to the experience of Jews in the south and southwest without making clear why those experiences are comparable (and I am not sure they are). Bavaria and Baden were significantly different from each other and, highly probably, from a commercial city like Cologne. Professor Magnus documents the...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 186-187
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.