In this Book

summary
Enlightenment writers, revolutionaries, and even Napoleon discussed and wrote about France's tiny Jewish population at great length. Why was there so much thinking about Jews when they were a minority of less than one percent and had little economic and virtually no political power? In this unusually wide-ranging study of representations of Jews in eighteenth-century France—both by Gentiles and Jews themselves—Ronald Schechteroffers fresh perspectives on the Enlightenment and French Revolution, on Jewish history, and on the nature of racism and intolerance. Informed by the latest historical scholarship and by the insights of cultural theory, Obstinate Hebrews is a fascinating tale of cultural appropriation cast in the light of modern society's preoccupation with the "other."

Schechter argues that the French paid attention to the Jews because thinking about the Jews helped them reflect on general issues of the day. These included the role of tradition in religion, the perfectibility of human nature, national identity, and the nature of citizenship. In a conclusion comparing and contrasting the "Jewish question" in France with discourses about women, blacks, and Native Americans, Schechter provocatively widens his inquiry, calling for a more historically precise approach to these important questions of difference.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. p. 1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-17
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  1. 1. A Nation within the Nation? The Jews of Old Regime France
  2. pp. 18-34
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  1. 2. Jews and Philosophes
  2. pp. 35-65
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  1. 3. Jews and Citizens
  2. pp. 66-109
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  1. 4. Contrapuntal Readings: Jewish Self-Representation in Prerevolutionary France
  2. pp. 110-149
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  1. 5. Constituting Differences: The French Revolution and the Jews
  2. pp. 150-193
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  1. 6. Familiar Strangers: Napoleon and the Jews
  2. pp. 194-235
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  1. Conclusion: Jews and Other “Others”
  2. pp. 236-255
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 256-262
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 263-296
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 297-318
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 319-332
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  1. Further Reading, Production Notes
  2. pp. 344-346
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780520929357
Related ISBN
9780520235571
MARC Record
OCLC
56029756
Pages
339
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-07
Language
English
Open Access
No
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