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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11Focusing on Aspects and Experiences of Religion$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774051

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774051.001.0001

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Polish History through the Eyes of Three Jewish Popular Historians

Polish History through the Eyes of Three Jewish Popular Historians

(p.312) Polish History through the Eyes of Three Jewish Popular Historians
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11

Jerzy Tomaszewski

Liverpool University Press

This chapter provides a comparison of Howard Sachar's book The Course of Modern Jewish History, which was first published in 1958, with two other general works on Jewish history. One is a large volume entitled A History of the Jewish People, edited by Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson, which was first published in Hebrew in 1969. The other is Robert M. Seltzer's Jewish People, Jewish Thought, which is more limited in size and scope and intended for a broad audience. The chapter considers only topics relating to Polish history, not those concerned with exclusively internal Jewish problems or the history of other nations. Nor will there be any general assessment of Sachar's book. Although Ben-Sasson's and Seltzer's works cover Jewish history from ancient to modern times, the story of the Jews in Poland is a relatively recent chapter in this history: it dates only from the creation of the Polish state in the tenth century. Both authors mention the early period of Polish history only briefly, beginning their real narratives of Polish Jewry with the detailed analysis of privileges granted to Jews by Polish kings in the thirteenth century.

Keywords:   Howard Sachar, Jewish history, Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson, Robert M. Seltzer, Jewish problems, Jews, Poland, Polish state, Polish Jewry

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