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This volume, written by a range of scholars in history and literature, offers a new understanding of one of the central cultural and ideological movements among Jews in modern times. Disengaging the Haskalah from the questions of modernization or emancipation that have hitherto dominated the scholarship, the contributors put the Haskalah under a microscope in order to restore detail and texture to the individuals, ideas, and activities that were its makers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular, they replace simple dichotomies with nuanced distinctions, presenting the relationship between 'tradition' and Haskalah as a spectrum of closely linked cultural options rather than a fateful choice between old and new or good and evil. The essays address major and minor figures; ask whether there was such an entity as an 'early Haskalah', or a Haskalah movement in England, look at key issues such as the relationship of the Haskalah to Orthodoxy and hasidism, and also treat such neglected subjects as the position of women. New Perspectives on the Haskalah will interest all students of modern Jewish history, literature, and culture. (PRINT ON DEMAND)
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