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Jewish Liberation

David Katz, 6 October 1983

The Jewish Community in British Politics 
by Geoffrey Alderman.
Oxford, 218 pp., £17.50, March 1983, 9780198274360
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Economic History of the Jews in England 
by Harold Pollins.
Associated University Presses, 339 pp., £20, March 1983, 0 8386 3033 2
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... forced to fight on alone without any official communal support. The outstanding figure here was David Salomons, whose repeated efforts as a professing Jew to obtain election to the Court of Aldermen of the City of London was rewarded in 1845 with an Act which allowed Jews to hold any municipal office. After the passage of this law, it was clear that only ...

The day the golem went berserk

David Katz, 10 January 1983

Mystical Theology and Social Dissent: The Life and Works of Judah Loew of Prague 
by Byron Sherwin.
Associated University Presses, 253 pp., £12.50, August 1982, 0 8386 3028 6
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Judaism on Trial: Jewish-Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages 
by Hyam Maccoby.
Associated University Presses, 245 pp., £15, August 1982, 0 8386 3053 7
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... A hoary Jewish joke tells of the Jew who is asked to write an essay on the elephant, and returns with a paper entitled ‘The Elephant and the Jewish Question’. The Jewish tendency to look at all experience through the highly selective prism of its effect on the Jewish predicament may sometimes be useful in certain political and social spheres, but in historical scholarship it can only lead to grotesque absurdities ...

Hebrew without tears

Blair Worden, 20 May 1982

Philo-Semitism and the Readmission of the Jews to England 1603-1655 
by David Katz.
Oxford, 312 pp., £17.50, April 1982, 0 19 821885 0
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... and 1685, and in 1700 Solomon de Medina became the first Jew to receive an English knighthood. In David Katz’s words, ‘once Cromwell and Charles II realised that the Jews as a nation could never be admitted through the front door, they were anxious to go round the back themselves and let them in through the door reserved for tradesmen.’ How do we ...


Malcolm Bull: Three Cheers for Apocalypse, 9 December 1999

Conversations about the End of Time 
by Umberto Eco and Stephen Jay Gould.
Allen Lane, 228 pp., £14.99, September 1999, 0 7139 9363 4
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Apocalypses: Prophesies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs throughout the Ages 
by Eugen Weber.
Hutchinson, 294 pp., £18.99, July 1999, 0 09 180134 6
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Messianic Revolution: Radical Religious Politics to the End of the Second Millennium 
by Richard Popkin and David Katz.
Allen Lane, 303 pp., £18.99, October 1999, 0 7139 9383 9
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... Christian identities in the history of apocalyptic interpretation is at the heart of Popkin and Katz’s Messianic Revolution. Just as Jewish apocalypses envision that Jews will get mixed up with Gentiles, Christian interpreters often came to believe that the Jews, long excluded from divine favour, would once again play a role in salvation history. As Weber ...

Conviction on the High Seas

Blair Worden, 6 February 1997

Protestantism and Patriotism: Ideologies and the Making of English Foreign Policy 1650-68 
by Steven Pincus.
Cambridge, 506 pp., £45, May 1996, 0 521 43487 4
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... as a result of hard thinking about England’s national and international economic condition. Like David Katz, whose study of Cromwell’s proposal of 1655 to readmit the Jews to England argued that that scheme owed nothing to economic calculation and everything to millenarian belief, Pincus is sometimes willing to discount economic motivation ...

Tribute to Trevor-Roper

A.J.P. Taylor, 5 November 1981

History and Imagination: Essays in honour of H.R. Trevor-Roper 
edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Valerie Pearl and Blair Worden.
Duckworth, 386 pp., £25, October 1981, 9780715615706
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... Archbishop Laud and the University of Oxford is much in Trevor-Roper’s spirit. I greatly enjoyed David S. Katz on the problem, much debated in 17th century England, of what language Adam spoke. After some false starts with Egyptian and ‘the language of Canaan’, Hebrew won the contest: hence the increase in Hebrew ...

Death (and Life) of the Author

Peter Wollen: Kathy Acker, 5 February 1998

... male and female, self and other, the sexual and the political. Writing about Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath , Kathy Acker commented on its nihilism, as she saw it: ‘The sexual is the political realm. There is no engagement.’ Barbara Kruger paid outrageous homage to Acker by rewriting – or, rather, parodying – her work that same ...

Seventy Years in a Colourful Trade

Andrew O’Hagan: The Soho Alphabet, 16 July 2020

Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia 
by Darren Coffield.
Unbound, 364 pp., £25, April 2020, 978 1 78352 816 5
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... and propped up more depressed artists in twenty years than Yaddo did in a hundred. And Bernie Katz, son of the South London gangster Brian ‘Little Legs’ Clifford, ran the Groucho as a pit stop for the perpetually wounded. (Bernie admitted that when he went into the bedroom where his father had been shot to death by two masked men, he didn’t ...


Ian Buruma, 9 March 1995

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War 
by Lynn Nicholas.
Macmillan, 498 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 333 62652 4
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... he wrote, ‘needed private carriers to help them struggle along under great loads.’ David Bergamini, Japan’s Imperial Conspiracy We almost collided with some SS officers who were carting up silver and other loot from the basement. One had a gold-framed picture under his arm. One was the commandant. His arms were loaded with silver knives and ...

Sins of the Three Pashas

Edward Luttwak: The Armenian Genocide, 4 June 2015

‘They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else’: A History of the Armenian Genocide 
by Ronald Grigor Suny.
Princeton, 520 pp., £24.95, March 2015, 978 0 691 14730 7
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... have done in reality: quite a few young non-Muslims believed in the Young Turks promise, including David Ben-Gurion, who went to Istanbul University to study law in 1912, envisaging a future as a community leader-cum-loyal official; in 1914 he personally raised a militia of forty Jews to serve the empire. For many in the Young Turks movement the response of ...

Benefits of Diaspora

Eric Hobsbawm: The Jewish Emancipation, 20 October 2005

... to ghettos or prohibited from settling in large cities until well into the 19th century. As Jacob Katz observed in Out of the Ghetto (1973), in those days ‘the outside world did not overly occupy the Jewish mind.’ The elaborate codification of the practices of Orthodoxy that constituted the Jewish religion in the compendia of the time, notably the ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... him – its editor, Alan Rusbridger, showed concern for his position, as did the then deputy, Ian Katz, and others – but he talked about its journalists in savage terms. The Guardian felt strongly that the secret material ought to be redacted to protect informants or bystanders named in it, and Julian was inconsistent about that. I never believed he wanted ...

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