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On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred
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On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Today, the term "Jewish self-hatred" often denotes a treasonous brand of Jewish self-loathing, and is frequently used as a smear, such as when it is applied to politically moderate Jews who are critical of Israel. In On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred, Paul Reitter demonstrates that the concept of Jewish self-hatred once had decidedly positive connotations. He traces the genesis of the term to Anton Kuh, a Viennese-Jewish journalist who coined it in the aftermath of World War I, and shows how the German-Jewish philosopher Theodor Lessing came, in 1930, to write a book that popularized "Jewish self-hatred." Reitter contends that, as Kuh and Lessing used it, the concept of Jewish self-hatred described a complex and possibly redemptive way of being Jewish. Paradoxically, Jews could show the world how to get past the blight of self-hatred only by embracing their own, singularly advanced self-critical tendencies--their "Jewish self-hatred." Provocative and elegantly argued, On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred challenges widely held notions about the history and meaning of this idea, and explains why its history is so badly misrepresented today.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesAnthropologySocial & cultural anthropologyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesCultural StudiesHistory of ideasPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsReligious groups: social & cultural aspectsJewish studies Publisher: Princeton University Press Publication Date: 29/04/2012 ISBN-13: 9780691119229  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable to order online.  

Paul Reitter is associate professor of Germanic languages and literatures at Ohio State University. He is the author of The Anti-Journalist: Karl Kraus and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Fin-de-Siecle Europe.

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