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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16Focusing on Jewish Popular Culture and Its Afterlife$
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Michael C. Steinlauf and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774730

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774730.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

A Missionary for History: Essays in Honor of Simon Dubnow

A Missionary for History: Essays in Honor of Simon Dubnow

Chapter:
(p.512) A Missionary for History: Essays in Honor of Simon Dubnow
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16
Author(s):
Kristi Groberg, Avraham Greenbaum
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774730.003.0032

This chapter reviews A Missionary for History: Essays in Honor of Simon Dubnow, which was edited by Kristi Groberg and Avraham Greenbaum. The most useful cluster of essays in this volume is the trio on Dubnow and the pogroms. Michael Hamm, Shlomo Lambroza, and John Klier show that there is little evidence to support Dubnow's view that the pogroms of the late imperial period were carefully prepared and centrally directed, in part to discredit and intimidate liberals and revolutionaries, and in part to divert peasant discontent. Most importantly, they explain how Dubnow's understanding of the pogroms, which still enjoys enormous influence and informs many synthetic accounts of modern Jewish history, derived from his lack of access to important sources as well as to his lack of distance from the events and his own involvement in Russian Jewry's political struggles. Stimulating as well is Israel Bartal's essay on how Dubnow's diaspora nationalism influenced his view of medieval Jewish autonomy, leading him to reverse the Haskalah's negative attitude towards communal autonomy and, at the same time, to describe this autonomy in thoroughly anachronistic terms.

Keywords:   Simon Dubnow, pogroms, modern Jewish history, Russian Jewry, diaspora nationalism, Jewish autonomy, Halakhah, communal autonomy

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