Jews and Non-Jews

Article excerpt

Jews and Non-Jews

Abraham's Heirs: Jews and Christians in Medieval Europe, by Leonard B. Glick. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1998. 272 pp. $49.95 (c); $24.95 (p). ISBN 0-8156-2778-5 (c); 0-8156-2779-3 (p).

Leonard B. Glick recounts the history of the Ashkenazic Jewish experience in medieval western Europe from the fifth to fifteenth centuries, focusing on interaction between Jews and Christians during this period. He argues that Ashkenazic Jewish culture was shaped and conditioned by life in an overwhelmingly Christian society.

Between Redemption and Doom: The Strains of German-Jewish Modernism, by Noah Isenberg. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. 234 pp. ISBN 0-8032-2502-4.

Through an examination of selected works in literature, theory, and film, Noah Isenberg investigates the ways in which Jewish identity was represented in German culture from the eve of the First World War through the rise of National Socialism. He argues that various responses to modernity -- particularly to its social, cultural, and aesthetic currents -- converge around the discourse on community.

Blacks and Jews in Literary Conversation, by Emily Miller Budick. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 272 pp. ISBN 0-521-63194-7 (c); 0-521-63575-6 (p).

In an attempt to lend a more nuanced ear to the ongoing dialogue between African and Jewish Americans, Emily Budick examines the works of a range of writers, critics, and academics from the 1950s through the 1980s. This study records conversations both explicit, such as essays and letters, and indirect, such as the fiction of Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Alice Walker, Cynthia Ozick, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin. The purpose is to understand how this dialogue has engendered misperceptions and misunderstandings, and how blacks and Jews in America have both sought and resisted assimilation.

Blacks and Jews on the Couch: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Black-Jewish Conflict, edited by Alan Helmreich and Paul Marcus. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998. 240 pp. ISBN 0-275-95666-0.

Mistrust, ambivalence, and other negative feelings characterize much of Black-Jewish relations. This anthology looks at the psychological motives, beliefs, and desires, rather than sociocultural, historical, or literary issues, that impair relations between Blacks and Jews.

La Forteresse de la Foi: La vision du monde d'Alonso de Espina, moine espagnol (? …