By Yuri Slezkine
This masterwork of interpretative background starts with a daring assertion: the fashionable Age is the Jewish Age--and we're all, to various levels, Jews.
The statement is, in fact, metaphorical. however it underscores Yuri Slezkine's provocative thesis. not just have Jews tailored higher than many different teams to dwelling within the smooth global, they've got develop into the most suitable image and conventional of contemporary lifestyles everywhere.
Slezkine argues that the Jews have been, in influence, one of the world's first unfastened brokers. They usually belonged to a social and anthropological classification referred to as "service nomads," an interloper team focusing on the supply of products and companies. Their function, Slezkine argues, was once 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 trendy Age, Mercurians have taken heart level. actually, Slezkine argues, modernity is all approximately Apollonians turning into Mercurians--urban, cellular, literate, articulate, intellectually tricky, bodily fastidious, and occupationally versatile. considering the fact that no crew has been more proficient at Mercurianism than the Jews, he contends, those exemplary ancients are actually version moderns.
The e-book concentrates at the drama of the Russian Jews, together with émigrés and their offspring in the USA, Palestine, and the Soviet Union. yet Slezkine has as a lot to claim in regards to 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 quandary, Slezkine notes, and either Soviet Bolshevism and American liberalism have been affected in primary methods by way of the Jewish exodus from the faded 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 United States as well.