THE MAKING OF THE MODERN JEW by Milton Steinberg

THE MAKING OF THE MODERN JEW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A book that you should be able to sell to the majority of your intelligent Jewish reading public; and that thoughtful readers, everywhere, will find illuminating. Popular enough in presentation to be easy reading; scholarly enough to bridge the gap to profounder study of a challenging subject. The problem of the modern Jew has its roots in the far distant past, and the author begins with the causes for the inculcating of the Jewish tradition so strongly that it has prevailed against everything through the ages and analyzes the process of building law and legend into the fibre of their being. Generations of isolation intensified this; the gradual elimination of the Jew from agricultural pursuits and from Christian Guilds forced them into a mold of commercialism, making them the merchants of the world, and the money lenders. He makes a clear case out of the results of inculcating a sense of inferiority and then of throwing wide the doors to an unprepared people, only to cheat them with successive closings, culminating in the present wave of anti-Semitism. He proves a loss of moral fibre in the futile attempt to identify themselves with Gentiles, and feels that their salvation lies not in absorption, which he thinks impossible, but in reconstruction of their faith, and in Zionism, not as a colonizing project, but as an altar for their race. One section of the book gives the essential flavor of a certain period of Jewish literature, quoting liberally from poets and philosophers. An interesting and challenging book, which should be sold by individual effort. The publishers are planning a campaign to back the trade on this book.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1934
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill