Jewish Historiography

The emergence of Jewish history--part two.

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Today, it would appear, Jewish collective memory (or attitude to history) resembles an enclosed field in which three rival schools are engaged in battle: the traditional "orthodox” model; pure amnesia, or an elimination of the past; and the exploitation of the past by nationalist or revolutionary ideologies. In a way, [A Historical Atlas of the Jewish People] is an attempt to comprehend and place in perspective this unprecedented configuration of historical approaches. Hopefully this volume will not only enhance our knowledge of Jewish history, but will also open new ways of defining the ambiguous relation between memory and the task of the historian.

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Eli Barnavi is the Director of the Morris Curiel Center for International Studies and a Professor of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University