The End of Jewish Modernity

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by Enzo Traverso, David Fernbach (Translation)
Jewish modernity flourished between the age of Enlightenment and World War II—and in fact was a major driver of intellectual, scientific, social, literary, and artistic progress in that period. But the age of Jewish modernity is over.
That’s the argument that historian Enzo Traverso mounts in this provocative book. With great sensitivity and nuance, he teases out the fundamentally conservative turn that the mainstream of Jewish thought has taken in the years since World War II, revealing its roots in the Holocaust and the establishment of the United Nations and Israel as the new poles of Jewish communal life. Building his argument on a highly original reading of Hannah Arendt’s writings on Jewishness and politics, Traverso offers both an elegy to a lost tradition and a damning intellectual history of the present.
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