By Yuri Slezkine
This masterwork of interpretative background starts off with a daring statement: the trendy Age is the Jewish Age--and we're all, to various levels, Jews.
The statement is, after all, metaphorical. however it underscores Yuri Slezkine's provocative thesis. not just have Jews tailored larger than many different teams to dwelling within the smooth international, they've got develop into the most advantageous image and traditional of recent lifestyles everywhere.
Slezkine argues that the Jews have been, in impact, one of the world's first loose brokers. They normally belonged to a social and anthropological class referred to as "service nomads," an interloper workforce focusing on the supply of products and companies. Their position, Slezkine argues, used to be a part of a broader department of human exertions among what he calls Mercurians-entrepreneurial minorities--and Apollonians--food-producing majorities.
because the dawning of the fashionable Age, Mercurians have taken middle level. in reality, Slezkine argues, modernity is all approximately Apollonians changing into Mercurians--urban, cellular, literate, articulate, intellectually difficult, bodily fastidious, and occupationally versatile. on the grounds that no team has been more proficient at Mercurianism than the Jews, he contends, those exemplary ancients are actually version moderns.
The publication concentrates at the drama of the Russian Jews, together with émigrés and their offspring in the United States, Palestine, and the Soviet Union. yet Slezkine has as a lot to claim concerning the many faces of modernity--nationalism, socialism, capitalism, and liberalism--as he does approximately Jewry. Marxism and Freudianism, for instance, sprang mostly from the Jewish problem, Slezkine notes, and either Soviet Bolshevism and American liberalism have been affected in basic methods through the Jewish exodus from the light of Settlement.
wealthy in its perception, sweeping in its chronology, and fearless in its research, this sure-to-be-controversial paintings is a crucial contribution not just to Jewish and Russian heritage yet to the historical past of Europe and the US as well.