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For Whom Do I Toil? : Judah Leib Gordon and the Crisis of Russian Jewry - Michael Stanislawski

For Whom Do I Toil?

Judah Leib Gordon and the Crisis of Russian Jewry

Hardcover Published: 27th October 1988
ISBN: 9780195042900
Number Of Pages: 274

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This is the first full-length biography of Judah Leib Gordon (1830-92), the most important Hebrew poet of the 19th century, and one of the pivotal intellectual and cultural figures in Russian Jewry. Setting Gordon's life and work amidst the political, cultural, and religious upheavals of his society, Stanislawski attempts to counter traditional stereotypical readings of Eastern European Jewish history. As a prominent and passionate exponent of the Jewish Enlightenment in Russia, Gordon advocated a humanist and liberal approach to all the major questions facing Jews in their tortuous transition to modernity--the religious reform of Judaism, the attractions and limits of political liberalism, the relations between Jews and Gentiles, the nature of modern anti-Semitism, the status of women in Jewish life, the possibility of a secular Jewish culture, the nature of Zionism, and the relations between Jews in the Diaspora and the Jewish community in the Land of Israel. His personal story is a fascinating drama that both symbolizes and summarizes the cultural and political challenges facing Russian Jewry at a crucial time in its history, challenges that remain pertinent and controversial today.

"Professor Stanislawski's gracefully written biography of the leading spokesman of Jewish Enlightenment in nineteenth-century Russia puts the history of Eastern European Jewry into new perspective. Stanislawski shows the interplay between Russian intellectual and political developments and the emergence of modern Jewish cultural and national consciousness. This thoroughly documented book is essential reading for all those interested in the cultural history of the West in the twentieth century and in the role played by the Jews in it."--Marc Raeff, Columbia University "A historical account of his life and works, free of anachronism, has long been owed to him and it has been splendidly accomplished by Professor Michael Stanislawski."--Jewish Journal of Sociology "An important work in the new historiography of Russian Jewry."--Russian Review "A fascinating study....Stanislawski's work is the first major examination of Gordon...and it is a tour de force. In essence, the book is not only a study of the most significant Hebrew poet of the 19th century, but a brilliant description of a critical chapter in the life of modern Jewry. It is richly and meticulously documented. An important source for students of Jewish and Russian history."--CHOICE "Stanislawski illumes the intellectual and cultural conflicts of an entire epoch through the biography of Judah Leib Gordon. The author's affinity for the talented, dynamic, and highly complicated figure of the Russian Jewish Enlightenment results in an unusually lively historical study."--Ruth Wisse, McGill University "An elegant and thoroughly scholarly study of Gordon--the first full-scale biography to be written."--L'Eyelah "Stanislawski's biography of Gordon together with his earlier work Tsar Nicholas I and the Jews constitute indispensable resources for reconstructing the world view of the Russian Haskalah."--American Historical Review "Of major significance for it is the first sustained study in any language of the life of Judah Leib Gordon....Through a masterly reconstruction of Gordon's life Stanislawski provides us with a detailed insight and hitherto unexplored approach to a whole chapter in both Jewish and Russian history."--Soviet Jewish Affairs

ISBN: 9780195042900
ISBN-10: 0195042905
Series: Studies in Jewish History
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 274
Published: 27th October 1988
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 1.1 x 1.1  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.61